Valley Dismantles Hundred In Backyard Brawl
After a close first half of high school football action Sept. 11, the Valley Lumberjacks wore the smaller-sized Hornets down and went on to win this season’s “Backyard Brawl”, 40-6 at Tom West Field in Pine Grove.
Valley took the kickoff at the 10 yard line, driving the ball down to Valley’s 10 yard line, mostly on runs by Ronald Morris that accumulated 67 yards. However, a Hundred hit on Cody Scott knocked the ball into the end zone for a touchback and the Hornets took over.
Hundred was sacked on the first play from scrimmage and, two plays later, punted the ball back to the home team.
The ‘Jacks went right to work. They drove 41 yards on nine plays, capped off with a Garrett Ueltschy seven-yard touchdown run to dent the scoreboard. After a Jeremiah Burch PAT, the Lumberjacks went on top 7-0, with only five ticks of the clock remaining in the opening period.
After the ensuing kick, the Hornets gained only six yards before they were forced to punt. Although Hundred was able to stop some of Valley’s ground game, the ‘Jacks eventually got their ninth first down of the game. On their second series, however, they had to punt.
The Hornets – Mixing passes by Dalton Kuhn with some nice runs by Zach Phillips and Zach Watson – moved the ball all the way down to the Lumberjack 26 yard line before turning it over on downs.
Runs by a slew of ‘Jacks moved the ball all the way down to the Hornets’ 26 before Morris high-stepped it in for a 14-0 lead with 3:20 left in the half.
Following Valley’s kick, the Hornets laid claim to a nice drive of their own. They took the ball from their own 19 yard line and battled their way down to the host’s 35 yard line, moving the chains three times in the drive with four seconds remaining in the half.
Hundred receiver Logan McDiffitt hauled in a Kuhn pass and then lateraled to fullback Phillips, who ran over a ‘Jacks defender on his way to a 35-yard TD. The two point conversion attempt was thwarted by a gang of Lumberjacks at the goal line.
The Hornets took the second half kickoff and drove down the field, only to turn the ball over on downs at the 32 yard line. Valley was three and out and had to punt. However, the snap sailed high and the Hornets were in business. But, the Lumberjack defense rose to the occasion and stopped the Hornet drive, taking over possession at the 27 yard line.
Nice runs by Morris and Matt Poling had the ‘Jacks moving in the right direction. Morris capped off the drive with a 30-yard touchdown to break the backs of the Hornets, who had fought hard to stay in it.
After the ensuing kick, the Hornet drive stalled when the ‘Jacks intercepted the ball. One play later, Cody Bates went into the end zone from 17 yards out, untouched, to push the score to 28-6, Valley.
The Hornets didn’t quit and ran the ensuing kick back to the 29 yard line. Watson rambled for nine yards and Phillips bullied his way for a first down at the 38 yard line. A nice tackle by Hunter Ring caused a four-yard loss to Hundred and Valley took possession.
The ‘Jacks moved the ball to the nine yard line where Ueltschy connected with Alex Henderson for a touchdown. Hundred moved the ball after the kick but turned it over on downs, thanks to nice defensive plays by Bates and Billy Streets
The Hornets threatened late in the game, but the ‘Jacks second string defense came out and the first unit went in to take over possession and shut the door on any Hornet threats. Scott raced to the left side of the line and went 46 yards to paydirt to end the scoring, at 40-6 Valley.
The Lumberjacks had 15 first downs to nine for the visitors. Hundred was penalized 11 times for minus 90 yards, while the ‘Jacks had the yellow flag thrown their way seven times for -55 yards. Hundred didn’t fumble the ball, while the ‘Jacks had the ball knocked loose twice.
The relentless Lumberjack running game had Morris leading all rushers with 141 yards and two touchdowns, while Bates racked up 67 yards on 13 carries. Scott and Poling each racked up 45 yards, while Casey Pingley gained 24 tough yards. Ueltschy threw two completed passes for nine yards and a touchdown. Valley churned out 340 yards on the ground, while the Hornets rushed for 123 yards.
Defensively, the ‘Jacks’ Justin Carter totaled 12 tackles, while Pingley drilled seven Hornets to lead the Valley Lumberjacks. Streets, Ring and David Sivert each added five tackles, while Streets added a quarterback sack and Bates recorded an interception.
“We just wore them down,” said Valley Head Coach Tom West. “Hundred is well coached and has a nice ball club. They play inspired football and have a lot of heart.”
For the Hornets, Kuhn rushed for 56 yards, while Watson ripped off 35 yards. Phillips earned every bit of his 16 yards on the ground, while McDiffitt gained 12 yards on his only carry. Tyrell Watson rushed for four yards, while tossing one pass for a couple yards’ gain. Kuhn was true on eight passes for 87 yards and a TD, but he also had one pass picked off.
Via the receiving route, McDiffitt caught four passes for 56 yards, while Phillips totaled 17 yards on a couple grabs.
Defensively for the Hornets, Kuhn led the way with 17 tackles, 12 of which were solo. Phillips and Roger Stalnaker each brought down 13, while Watson corralled 11 Lumberjacks. Shane Kuhn and Chris Shackleford each recorded six tackles.
After the first couple games on foreign soil, the Hornets will get to play at Cosgray Field in Hundred this Friday at 7:30 p.m. against Clay-Battelle.
The Lumberjacks will have their hands full this Friday, as defending state champion Weirton Madonna comes to town for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff at Tom West Field in Pine Grove.