Valley Christian blanks Wellsville
Eagles score three times in 2nd half to win 19-0
CAMPBELL — It wasn’t pretty, but the Valley Christian Eagles bounced back from a tough loss to Southern Local last week with a 19-0 victory over the Wellsville Tigers at John Knapick Field Saturday night.
With both the Tigers and Eagles out of the league title hopes, the game took the role as a playoff elimination game as both programs were looking to clinch one of the final computer qualifying seeds. With the win, the Eagles now look to have a solid hold on the 10th slot in the latest Joe Eitel computer poll. The top 16 teams qualify for the postseason.
“There were a lot of points with Valley Christian’s record,” Tigers coach Robert Ramsey said. “But we dropped the ball tonight.
“We came into this game and we looked at that (computer seeds). We had to get a victory because we knew it was our chance to get into the playoffs and get a home game. And that is what we did,” Eagles senior Cameron Davenport said.
“That was the conversation we had before the game. This is a playoff game,” Eagles coach Andy Hake added.
The game itself featured 11 fumbles, four which resulted in turnovers, and 26 penalties. Those miscues caused the game to have no flow to it, while both teams failed to take advantage of opportunities to score in the first half.
Valley would drive to the Tigers 3-yard line early in the second quarter, only to fumble the ball into the end zone where Wellsville’s Valen Krzyston scooped it up and returned it to the Tigers 17. The Tigers returned the favor on their next possession when they reached the Eagles 12 before two negative plays resulted in them turning the ball over on downs at the 7:39 mark of the second quarter.
“We lost our center early in the second quarter and we had two young kids in there battling their butts off for us,” Tigers coach Robert Ramsey remarked. “We made mistakes and Valley Christian capitalized on them.”
“We were really shooting ourselves in the foot,” Hake stated. “Making mistakes and not for our defense. They were hanging in there even though we were shooting ourselves on offense. Really frustrating. This was one of the most frustrating halves that I have ever experienced.”
The Tigers were also without their starting standout running back Isaiah Greathouse for the game. Another player’s absence that proved to hurt the Tigers on the night.
The Eagles would put together an impressive drive to start the second half as they marched 75-yards on 14 plays, eating up almost seven and half minutes of the clock to score on a 4-yard run by Cameron Davenport.
The Tigers would make their best threat of the ball game when they drove 57-yards to the Eagles’ 5-yard line with just over eight minutes remaining in the contest. But a bad snap over quarterback Valen Krzyston head resulted in a turnover recovered by the Eagles Jon’Qual Pabellon at the Eagles 24.
“It was a rough game, but we came out in the second half and handled business as a team,” Davenport. “The talk was for us to come together, work hard and play as a team. Do what you have to do.”
The Eagles would add two touchdowns late in the game to seal the victory. The first came with 2:13 left when Tyree Washington scored on a 12-yard run. Then Jhordan Peete added a 28-yard scamper down the right sideline to provide the final points in the game with just 1:26 remaining.
“A lot of our kids played hard, and I’m proud of them. When you’re in the red zone and you come up empty, it’s tough to win against a team like Valley Christian,” Ramsey said.
The Tigers look to close out the 2021 season on a positive note when they host the Leetonia Bears next Friday. The Eagles will look to clinch that playoff spot next Friday when they visit the East Palestine Bulldogs.