The Elk County Catholic Crusaders were dealt a tough 38-6 loss by the Curwensville Golden Tide during a cold, wet and muddy contest at Dutch Country Stadium in St. Marys on Friday evening. The Crusaders' lone touchdown came in the middle of the third quarter after the Golden Tide had already built a 30-point lead.
"We didn't show up to play at all, I don't think. Right from the first snap, we weren't up to the level we needed to be. We're definitely a better ball club than played tonight. We've just got to regroup, have a good week of practice, and we've got Ridgway next week. This definitely wasn't us at all, I don't think," said ECC coach Travis Skrzypek.
"They (Curwensville) won the line of scrimmage all night long. They came off the line with all cylinders firing and were moving the ball. It's tough to be in a game when you're giving up 3 yards on the line every time," Skrzypek added.
Despite the rain and mud, Skrzypek downplayed the impact that field conditions had on the outcome of the game.
"It's field conditions both ways," Skrzypek said. "They (Curwensville) just came out and were motivated to play."
The Crusader offense was led by Cole Gerber, who had 118 yards on 16 carries. Brock McCullough added 33 yards on 8 carries.
Curwensville was led by Alex Holland, who had racked up 298 yards on 40 carries. Holland accounted for three of the Golden Tide's five touchdowns. Also for the Golden Tide, Brad Coudriet added 52 yards on 8 carries and Josh Greslick had 40 yards on 7 carries.
ECC took the opening kickoff after Curwensville won the coin toss and deferred to the second half.
The Crusaders looked set to march all the way to the endzone as they started their opening drive at their own 36-yard line and used six plays to make it all the way to Curwensville's 27. However, quarterback Mitchell Vallone's pass was intercepted, turning the ball over to the Golden Tide.
From there, Curwensville needed just three plays to find the endzone for the first time on a 49-yard run by Alex Holland. The PAT attempt was blocked by Crusader Joe McLaughlin to make the score 6-0 with 6:38 remaining in the first half.
On their next possession, the Crusaders started out at their own 48-yard line and drove to Curwensville's 26 before turning the ball over on downs. In a drive that extended into the second quarter, the Golden Tide used 11 plays to take the ball back to the Crusaders' endzone, this time scoring on a 32-yard pass play by Jordan Russell. Quarterback Hunter McCracken ran in the 2-point PAT to make the score 14-0 with 9:41 left in the half.
The Golden Tide would score again on their final possession of the half on a 4-yard run by Holland. Holland also ran in the 2-point PAT, giving Curwensville a 22-0 lead with 1:10 remaining in the half.
Curwensville kept the momentum going in the start of the second half, scoring again on their opening possession. Holland initially made it into the endzone on a 19-yard run, but the touchdown was called back due to a holding penalty on the Golden Tide. It took him three more tries to make it back in for the score, this time on a 12-yard run. Brad Coudriet ran in the 2-point PAT, making the score 30-0 with 7:43 left in the third quarter.
The Crusaders would finally get on the board on the ensuing possession as Cole Gerber made it into the endzone on a 23-yard run. The 2-point PAT attempt failed due to a fumbled snap, making the score 30-6 in favor of Curwensville with 6:34 remaining in the third quarter.
The Golden Tide added to their lead on their next possession, scoring the final points of the game. This time it was Coudriet who made it into the endzone on a 3-yard run. Holland ran in the 2-point PAT to make the score 38-6 with 1:30 left in the third. Neither team would score for the remainder of the game.
The Crusaders are now 5-3 on the season and 5-3 in the AML.
ECC returns to action next Friday when they host the Ridgway Elkers at Dutch Country Stadium. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. and the game will also be Senior Night for the Crusaders.
During halftime of Friday evening's game, a special ceremony was held to honor individuals impacted by breast cancer.
Unofficial game statistics
First downs 6 22
Yards gained rushing 165 399
Passes attempted 5 3
Passes completed 0 2
Intercepted by 0 1
Yards gained passing 0 36
Total yards 165 435
Punts-average 3-26 0-0
Fumbles-lost 1-1 2-2
Offensive plays 36 62
Score by quarters
Elk Catholic 0 0 6 0 6
Curwensville 6 16 16 0 38
First quarter - Curwensville - Alex Holland 49-yard run. PAT failed, 6-0, 6:38.
Second quarter - Curwensville - Hunter McCracken to Jordan Russell 32-yard pass play. McCracken made 2-point PAT, 14-0, 9:41.
Second quarter - Curwensville - Alex Holland 4-yard run. Holland made 2-point PAT, 22-0, 1:10.
Third quarter - Curwensville - Alex Holland 12-yard run. Brad Coudriet made 2-point PAT, 30-0, 7:43.
Third quarter - Elk Catholic - Cole Gerber 23-yard run. 2-point PAT failed, 30-6, 6:34.
Third quarter - Curwensville - Brad Coudriet 3-yard run. Holland made 2-point PAT, 38-6, 1:30.
Rushing - Elk Catholic - Cole Gerber 16 carries, 118 yards; Brock McCullough 8 carries, 33 yards; Mitchell Vallone 2 carries, 5 yards; Andy Gebauer 1 carry, -3 yards; Hank Cappiello 3 carries, 4 yards; Nick Erich 1 carry, 7 yards. Curwensville - Alex Holland 40 carries, 298 yards; Brad Coudriet 8 carries, 52 yards; Hunter McCracken 1 carry, -1 yards; Josh Greslick 7 carries, 40 yards; Alex Olson 1 carry, 9 yards; Jake Stiles 2 carries, 2 yards.
Passing - Elk Catholic - Mitchell Vallone 0-5-0. Curwensville - Hunter McCracken 2-3-36.
Receiving - Curwensville - Jordan Russell 1 catch, 32 yards; Jesse Zorger 1 catch, 4 yards.