‘Jacks Ground Irish
The Valley Lumberjacks defensive unit accounted for 14 quarterback sacks and four interceptions, while Casey Pingley galloped 205 yards and scored three TDs on offense en route to a 37-21 victory over Clarksburg Notre Dame Sept. 17, at Tom West Field in Pine Grove.
The Lumberjacks held Notre Dame and forced a short punt to open the game, but only to lose it inside the 10 yard line. Two Irish plays later, the ‘Jacks Kody Jenkins stepped in front of a Nolan Tucci pass and ran it back to the 11 yard line. Valley couldn’t get it in the end zone and tallied the game’s first points on a Jenkins 23-yard field goal.
After the ensuing kick, Tucci made up for his earlier mistake and connected on a 67-yard TD pass. The PAT missed its mark and Notre Dame led 6-3 in the first period.
The Lumberjacks moved the chains on a nice 44-yard run by Pingley, and Jenkins broke a pair of tackles en route to a 27-yard TD run with only a few ticks remaining in period one to give the hosts a 9-6 lead.
The Lumberjacks’ Hunter Ring intercepted the Irish’s talented quarterback and ran the ball back 60 yards, to set up a three-yard TD run by Pingley that pushed the score to 16-6.
A blocked punt late in the second period by Ueltschy set up the final points of the first half, a one-yard scamper by Pingley. Jenkins nailed the conversion kick and Valley took a 23-6 score into the locker room.
Each team moved the ball well in the third period, but neither could get into the end zone, until Notre Dame punched it in on a two-yard TD run. The two point conversion pass made the score 23-14.
The Irish gave the ‘Jacks a gift a few possessions later when a snap on a punt sailed over the punter’s head and Valley took advantage with a Jenkins 10-yard scamper to give the hosts a 30-14 lead.
Pingley iced the game with a 55-yard touchdown run and Notre Dame would end the game late with a seven-yard TD run.
Notre Dame had six penalties for 54 lost yards, while Valley committed one infraction for 15 yards. Notre Dame moved the chains 13 times to the Lumberjacks’ 12.
Pingley paced the high-flying ‘Jacks with 205 yards and three touchdowns, while Jenkins rushed for 40 yards and two tallies. Cody Bates rushed for 37 yards.
The ‘Jacks’ defense forced two interceptions and recovered two punt attempts, while laying out the Irish quarterback 14 times. Ueltschy had four of them to go along with eight tackles. Pingley and Jon Smallwood each added three sacks. Davie Sivert added a pair of sacks, while Spencer Mason and Cody Bates each netted one sack.
Jenkins and Ring each had a pair of interceptions. Pingley paced the ‘Jacks both offensively as well as defensively with 11 tackles.
The front line of Bates and Mason at tackles on defense and the book-ends of Pingley and Smallwood was just too much for Notre Dame to handle.
“I have never seen in all my coaching years a team that had that many quarterback sacks and forced that many interceptions and miscues from a very good football team,” said Valley Head Coach Tom West. “It was a big win for us. We didn’t make many mistakes and I was very impressed with the way the boys flew to the ball on defense. If we can keep that intensity level the rest of the season, we should be okay.”
The ‘Jacks travel to Bridgeport, Ohio, to take on the undefeated Bridgeport Bulldogs at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 24.