Lumberjacks Fall Short In 26-13 Loss To Bisons
Valley Lumberjack Casey Pingley scored two touchdowns on an 11-yard run and a 94-yard kick return, but it wasn’t enough to get by undefeated Buffalo Putnam, who prevailed 26-13 on Valley High School’s homecoming Oct. 1.
Both teams moved the ball well in each quarter, but it was the Bisons who first punched up the scoreboard on a two-yard scamper. The point after kick missed its mark and the Bisons led 6-0. During the scoring drive, the ‘Jacks’ Jon Smallwood had a quarterback sack and Drew Wade dropped a would-be interception. In addition, Cody Bates misjudged a pass that should have been intercepted.
On the ensuing kick, Kody Jenkins ran the kick back to Valley’s 45 yard line, where the Lumberjack offense went right to work, mostly with runs by Bates and Pingley. Pingley capped off the 55-yard drive with an 11-yard touchdown scamper. Jenkins booted the ball between the uprights to give the hosts a 7-6 lead in the first period.
Pingley met the Bison kick returner with a ferocious tackle at the 35 yard line. From there, the visiting Bisons showed the SRO Valley fans why they were undefeated and state ranked. After four straight first downs, a 25-yard pass, three plays with double-digit rushes, and a 10-yard TD run, gave Buffalo a 12-7 lead with 3:32 left in period one.
The Bison defense forced the ‘Jacks to a three-and-out to force a punt. But, Jenkins was roughed on the punt, which gave Valley a new set of downs.
After a combined 21 yards by Bates and Jenkins, Bates ended the opening period on a three-yard gainer. In the next series of plays that included a loss of yardage and a holding call, the Lumberjacks where facing a third and long. Jenkins fired a long pass to Clay Ueltschy, who was picked off by the Bisons.
On the runback, the Bisons committed a block in the back that pushed them back to the 22 yard line. The Lumberjacks’ Jon Smallwood would yank down a Bison runningback for a two-yard loss. On a third and long, the Buffalo Putnam quarterback ran out of danger and picked up a first down.
The Valley defense stiffened and Spencer Mason clobbered the Putnam QB to force a punt. However, Putnam would hold Valley to a three-and-out to get the ball back at the Bison 45.
Buffalo would use quick passes to move the ball down the field. But, after a second quick pass, the ‘Jacks’ Tyler Baker was in position to make an interception.
After positive yardage by Jenkins on the ground, Garrett Ueltschy hooked up with Smallwood on a nifty pitch-and-catch for a 24-yard gainer to the Bison 40 yard line. The Lumberjacks moved the ball into the Bison red zone and were forced to a fourth and short and called a time out to talk it over. After the short break, Ueltschy handed off to Pingley, who bullied his way for a first down.
With time running out in the first half, Ueltschy was picked off in the end zone as time expired with Buffalo Putnam on top 12-7.
After halftime Jenkins was injured on the kick return. After a couple positive Valley runs, Garrett Ueltschy picked up 14 yards on a sweep and then would throw an interception a few plays later.
Buffalo would set out on a 60-yard drive that was capped off by a 20-yard TD run. After a two point conversion run, the Bisons extended their advantage to 20-7.
Fortunately for Valley, Pingley brought back the kickoff 96 yards to paydirt and the Lumberjacks pulled to within seven points, 20-13.
After that score, both teams bent, but neither would break until late in the fourth frame when the Bisons tacked on a one-yard run to end the game, 26-13.
Bates led the Lumberjacks with 59 yards rushing, while Pingley added 26 yards and two TDs. Garrett Ueltschy added 34 yards and completed three passes for 38 yards, but was intercepted twice. Smallwood caught one pass for 24 yards, while Clay Ueltschy hauled in one for nine yards and Pingley caught one pass for five yards.
Clay Ueltschy led the way defensively with 10 tackles, while Pingley added nine tackles and a QB sack. Davie Sivert also sacked the Bison quarterback. Wade added nine tackles, while Smallwood brought down eight Bison opponents.
Taylor Highley was crowned homecoming queen for Valley during pre-game ceremonies.
Valley will try to get back to their winning ways Friday night when they host the Cee-Bees of Clay-Battelle.