DuBOIS – Mark Strothers and Jake Dougherty each ran for two touchdowns to lead Redbank Valley to a 28-22 win over Curwensville in the first Class A semifinal game at E.J Mansell Stadium Saturday afternoon.
The Bulldogs (8-3), 1-9 a year ago, meet unbeaten Clarion next week in their first-ever Class A final appearance. All of their titles and finals games have been in Class AA. Clarion beat the Bulldogs, 50-0, in Week 7.
Curwensville, the top seed out of the Allegheny Mountain League, finished 9-2.
All but one touchdown was scored in the first half, including all of the Bulldogs’ points. Strothers, who ran for 242 yards on 23 carries, scored on the Bulldogs’ opening possession of the game on a 27-yard run.
Dougherty made it 14-0 on a 2-yard tun at the 2:29 mark of the first quarter.
Curwensville got a much-needed spark when Alex Olson returned a fumble recovery 25 yards for a touchdown with 53.7 seconds left in the first.
Then Zach Tibbens helped the Tide take their only lead with a 6-yard TD run with quarterback Kyle Johns plowing into the end zone for a two-point conversion to put the Tide up 15-14 at the 9:41 mark of the second quarter.
Tibbens, once again, was a workhorse for the Tide with 216 yards on a whopping 48 carries. Despite that number, Curwensville attempted more passes than Redbank Valley, although Johns completed just 2 of 14 passes for 14 yards.
The lead was short-lived as Strothers blasted 85 yards for a touchdown 68 seconds later. Dougherty put the Bulldogs up 28-15 with a 4-yard run with 3:33 remaining in the half.
The Tide cut it to 28-22 on a Johns 1-yarder with 5:27 left in the third. Then late in the game the Tide drove to the Bulldogs’ 26 and were stopped on a Tibbens 3-yard run on fourth-and-5 with just under a minute remaining.
The Bulldogs then ran out the clock to secure the win and with Clarion’s win later in the evening in DuBois, guaranteed just the second all-KSAC Class A title game in District 9 and first since Clarion’s 14-7 overtime win over Clarion-Limestone in 1990.
REDBANK VALLEY 28, CURWENSVILLE 22
Score by Quarters
Redbank Valley 14 14 0 0 — 28
Curwensville 7 8 7 0 — 22
RV – Mark Strothers 27 run (Zane Watson kick) 9:18
RV – Jake Dougherty 2 run (Watson kick) 2:29
C – Alex Olson 29 fumble recovery return (Jason Thorp kick) 0:56
C – Zach Tibbens 6 run (Kyle Johns run) 9:41
RV – Strothers 85 run (Watson kick) 8:27
RV – Dougherty 4 run (Watson kick) 3:33
C – Johns 1 run (Thorp kick) 5:27
First Downs 11 17
Rushing-Yards 34-286 61-276
Comp-Att-Int 4-11-0 2-14-0
Passing Yards 39 14
Total Yards 325 290
Fumbles-Lost 3-3 0-0
Punting-Avg 2-23 5-26.8
Penalties-Yards 6-28 5-25
RUSHING — Redbank Valley: Mark Strothers 23-242, Jake Dougherty 8-41, Kaven Hornberger 1-1, Mitch Blose 1-0, Kyle Schrecengost 1-2. Curwensville: Zach Tibbens 48-216, Alex Olson 9-40, Kyle Johns 4-20.
PASSING — Redbank Valley: Jake Dougherty 4-for-11, 39 yards. Curwensville: Kyle Johns 2-for-14, 14 yards.
RECEIVING — Redbank Valley: Kyle Schrecengost 2-23, Mark Strothers 1-(-3), Mitch Blose 1-19. Curwensville Travis Lansberry 2-14.