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Valley Begins Season With 44-34 Win

By Staff | Aug 31, 2016

Photo by Bruce Crawford Valley Lumberjack Dylan Irvin goes up to grab a pass that he took in for a Valley touchdown.

Matthew Throckmorton returned two kickoffs for a pair of 85-yard touchdowns and rushed for a 93-yard score, while Dylan Irvin hauled in eight Tyler Kocher tosses for 108-yards and two more touchdowns to lead the host Valley Wetzel to a thrilling 44-34 victory Friday night at Tom West Field in Pine Grove.

Throckmorton raced 85 yards on the game’s opening kickoff, while Kocher connected with Irvin on the two-point conversion pass to give the hosts a quick 8-0 lead.

Tygarts Valley returned the ensuing kick close to midfield before rushing 50 yards on a busted play to close the gap to 8-6 as the Lumberjack defense rose to the occasion at the 10:11 left in period one.

The Bulldogs’ kickoff didn’t travel 10 yards and Valley took over at midfield. However, a bad snap and a poor throw gave Tygarts Valley the ball at the 45-yard line.

After a pair of positive runs, the Bulldogs scored on a 34-yard touchdown pass to take over the lead at 12-8 after the two-point conversion run with 7:08 remaining in period one.

Throckmorton ran the ensuing kick back to Valley’s 43-yard line. Kocher would hook up with Alex Midcap on a third and long for a new set of downs. Kocher connected with Irvin for a 35-yard pass reception and the two connected once more, this time for a 20-yard touchdown. Kocher scored the two-point conversion on a keeper to give the hosts back the lead at 16-12 at the 4:16 mark.

The Bulldogs returned the ensuing kick 35 yards to the 45-yard line to start their next drive, but the ‘jacked-up Valley defense held Tygarts Valley for the first of three fourth down and short situations, to get the ball back.

Starting from the Bulldogs’ 20-yard line, Kocher hooked up twice with Irvin to end the first quarter. However, the Tygarts Valley defense held and forced the Lumberjacks to punt.

The visitors connected on a circus-type catch on a third and later in the drive on a nifty 22-yard touchdown run to give Tygarts a 20-16 lead at the 7:57 mark of period two.

It didn’t take the Lumberjacks long to retake the lead, as Throckmorton took the ensuing kick to the house for 85 yards for a 22-20 advantage after the failed two point conversion pass.

Irvin stopped what appeared to be a Bulldogs TD kickoff return at midfield, and the Valley defense would hold and force a punt. The Tygarts Valley defense also held and would take over at midfield.

However, the ‘Jacks defense took over on downs with their second of three fourth and short situations, at the 38-yard line with 2:31 remaining till the break.

Kocher would connect once more to Irvin on a nice 40-yard pitch and catch. A Kocher keeper got the ‘Jacks down to the visitors 12-yard line. However, Kocher would be intercepted near the goal line, but the Bulldog quarterback would take a knee with just seconds remaining, but it was one the end-zone for a Valley safety for a 24-20 Valley lead.

Throckmorton, returned the punt to the 39-yard line to give the hosts another opportunity with .4 seconds remaining to extend their lead. But, a wide-open pass was dropped pass in the end-zone, kept the game at 24-20 at the break.

Tygarts Valley ran the second half kick back to midfield, but after two positive gainers had the ball inside the red-zone, the fired-up ‘Jacks defense halted the Bulldogs third fourth and short opportunity and took over.

The Bulldogs held Valley to three and out to force a punt, and took over possession at the 43-yard line with 6:21 remaining in period three.

Both teams forced punts, but with the ball on the three-yard line and Valley with the ball, Kocher handed it off to Throckmorton who scrambled 93-yards to pay-dirt to give the hosts a 30-20 lead after another Kocher two-point conversion run.

After a nice kick return, and a Lumberjack penalty, the Bulldogs were in business, but Austin Lowe would intercept Tygarts Valley with 2:34 left in the third period.

Kocher, hooked up with Peyton Bassett on a 30-yard completion to end the third quarter of play.

On a third and long, Kocher was roughed up and got a new set of downs at the nine yard line. The next play, Kocher used the 6’6″ frame of Irvin for a nine yard touchdown pass to give the hosts a 38-20 lead after Kocher’s third conversion run with 10:18 left in regulation.

The Bulldogs return the ensuing kick close to midfield and would cash in on the short 55-yard drive with a five-play two-yard TD run to cut the deficit to 38-28 after the two-point conversion run.

After a short kick-off, Valley took over, but after a nice 14-yard jaunt by Throckmorton, Kocher was picked-off. However, Kocher returned the favor and intercepted Tygarts Valley.

Shortly later, Kocher hooked up with Bassett on a 25-yard touchdown pitch and catch with 5:32 left in regulation for a 44-28 Valley lead after the incomplete conversion pass.

Tygarts Valley got to midfield, but the Lumberjack defense held and took over for its fourth fourth down situation with 3:47 left. However, the Lumberjacks fumbled and Tygarts Valley took advantage and scored on a two yard TD run to pull to within, 44-34 with 1:29 left in the game.

The Lumberjacks would recover the on-side kick and take a knee to end the game, and give first year head coach Logan Miller his first varsity win.

Valley rushed 19 times for 129-yards, while Tygarts Valley gained 157-yards on 40 carries. Kocher was 17-34 for 207-yards and three scores, while the Bulldogs connected on 9-23 passes for 109-yards and two touchdowns.

Throckmorton rushed for 86-yards on 10 carries, while Kocher accumulated 43-yards on nine carries. Irvin hauled in eight Kocher passes for 108 yards and two scores, while Bassett caught two for 27 yards and a score. Midcap grabbed four passes for 57 yards, while Levi Streets netted 10-yards on two snatches, and Travis Leek caught one for five yards.

Streets also had 15 tackles with 10 being solos, while Irvin made seven stops, including two for sacks, and blocked two others. Midcap also had a quarterback sack, made nine tackles, while Brian Powell made six tackles, with one sack. Austin Lowe had eight solo stops and one assist, while making an interception. Kocher also had an interception.

Valley moved the chains eight times, while Tygarts Valley moved them six times. Valley had six infractions for 35 yards lost, while the visitors were caught three times for 25 lost yards.

The Lumberjacks’ next opponent will be the South Harrison Hawks at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 2.