‘Jacks Push Away ‘Cats In Football Finale, 44-8
After falling behind 8-0, Valley scored 44 unanswered points to defeat country rival Paden City 44-8 Oct. 26 at Tom West Field in a mutual season finale.
Valley High School recognized its fall season seniors and their families before the game and had Wildcat’s Matt Barker family toss the coin to start the game. (Barker, who would have been a senior at Paden City High School this year, lost his life in an automobile wreck this summer.) All the ‘Jack players wore a green wrist band with M.B. on it in his honor.
Valley won the toss for the 10th straight game and elected to take the ball. After the ensuing kickoff the Lumberjacks coughed up the ball on its first play from scrimmage. The ‘Cats’ Zach Heasley handed off to Drew Bidwell who dished it off to Brandon Cross for a long touchdown run, but a block in the back negated the score and the Wildcats would have to try it all over again.
They would get into the ‘Jacks’ redzone, before losing possession on downs at the 18-yard line. Valley would travel 82-yards on 14 plays, capped off with a Trey Streets 19-yard TD run. During the drive, Spencer Mason ran the ball 10 times and moved the chains five times.
On the ensuing kick, Bidwell returns it 15 yards, setting up Paden City in good field position. After a Cross 12-yard run, Kane Pyles would get the Wildcats on the board with a 23-yard TD run. Cross hauled in a Heasley two-point conversion pass to give the visitors an 8-6 lead to end the first quarter of play.
Valley gave the ball away once, but the Wildcats couldn’t make it count, and the ‘Jacks would convert another long drive with a Mason one-yard plunge, highlighted by two, yes two, pass plays-one to Chase West for 20 plus yards and another by Streets on the two-point conversion attempt.
The Lumberjacks held and Paden City punted with 2:02 left in period two. Valley went to the air, yes to the air, and Chris Kocher connected on a long pass to West and another to Liam Midcap before Troy Hubbard hauled in a 15-yard TD pass. West caught the two-point conversion and Valley went up, 22-8.
Late in the second period, Streets kidnapped a Cougar pass and ran it home for a 75-yard interception return for a touchdown. Peyton Palmer added the conversion try.
Neither team scored in the third period, but the Lumberjacks scored twice in the fourth on a Taylor Bates’ eight-yard run and a Brock Stackpole two-yard scamper. Palmer made another PAT kick and Donald Smith ran in the other conversion attempt for a 44-8 Valley Lumberjack victory.
Offensive stats for Paden City include Brandon Cross with 19 carries for 65 yards, and ran the two-point conversion; Kane Pyles, five rushes for 35 yards and one TD; and Drew Bidwell, two rushes for 35 yards. Quarterback, Heasley, completed four of 10 for 16 yards and was intercepted once.
Cross caught two passes for 16 yards; Craig Allen caught a pass for nine yards; and Pyles had one catch for 10 yards.
Defensively, freshman Logan Carroll led the team with 12 tackles; Michael Wilcox also was credited with 12 tackles; Willie Wilkinson had 11 tackles; Allen, nine; Luke Cooper, seven; Pyles, Heasley, and Bidwell had six tackles each; and Heasley and Denton Thomas each had a fumble recovery.
For the Lumberjacks, Mason accumulated 105 yards on 23 carries, while Streets added 32 yards on nine totes. Brock Stackpole rushed for 24 yards on five carries, while Kocher netted 14 yards on one carry. Hubbard, Bates, Midcap, Smith, and Joseph Koontz each recorded positive yardage for the ‘Jacks.
Paden City ended the season with one win and nine losses, while Valley ends their season with a 2-8 record. The Wildcats lose one senior to graduation in Drew Bidwell, while the Lumberjacks will say farewell to Collin Bates, Troy Hubbard, Spencer Mason, and Brock Stackpole.