PDT Sports Writer
LUCASVILLE — The start may not have been what Valley coach Darren Crabtree wanted Friday night, but his Indians found a way to claim their 24th-straight regular season victory with a 27-7 home win over Chesapeake.
“We played with no emotion, no intensity, we thought we were going to show up and just stop these guys,” Crabtree said about his team’s first half effort. “They were able to make enough yards — 3 yards here, 5 yards (there) — just kept moving the chains. And every time we seemed like we would get a stop, we didn’t.”
The Panthers controlled the first quarter of the game, chewing up all but the final 2:52 of the opening period. Crabtree wished he had an answer for the dominance portrayed by the Chesapeake offense.
“They were executing better than we were,” Crabtree said.
Scoring didn’t start until 5:03 remaining in the second quarter when Valley’s Nate Arnett walked into the end zone from a yard out. The score capped off a seven-play, 56-yard drive.
The Indians had an opportunity to tack on a late score but Nate Smith’s punt ricocheted off Dakota Baker and Casey McComas recovered it for the Panthers on their 47.
“Anything that I think could’ve gone wrong in the first half did,” Crabtree said. “We didn’t play well on offense, we didn’t do well getting off the field on the defensive side of the ball… It was a half that got over with pretty quickly but really, but really couldn’t get over with quick enough.”
Valley came out of the locker room in a rush to start the third. Alex Loop’s 58-yard run through the middle of the Chesapeake defense gave the Indians a 14-0 advantage just 65 seconds into the half. Despite carrying the ball twice, Loop was the team’s leading rusher with 72 yards.
“We only had 13 (offensive) plays in the first half so we wanted to get him some carries in the first half,” Crabtree said. “He gives a difference in there.”
However, the Panthers responded with two plays when Chad Meadows bursted through the line for an 82-yard dash. He led all rushers with 105 yards on 17 carries.
“Their game plan coming in was obviously to run the football if they could and keep us off the field,” Crabtree said. “They were able to do that.”
Arnett expanded the lead to 21-7 when he reached pay dirt from the Chesapeake 2. Bryan Rolfe used a broken play to tack on a 35-yard scoring run in the fourth to conclude the night’s scoring.
Valley’s strong second half allowed the Indians win the battle for total yardage with a 288-239 edge. Despite the victory, Crabtree was pleased to see his troops were not happy with the effort they brought forth.
“Our kids I think learned a little bit about themselves tonight that it makes no difference who you’re playing,” Crabtree said, “you don’t come ready to play, you’re going to make things difficult on yourselves.”
The road doesn’t become easier for Valley as South Point ventures into Lucasville. The Pointers improved to 4-0 Friday night with a 42-22 win over Lincoln County (WV).
“They’re a much-improved football team,” Crabtree said. “… Hopefully our kids realize that you’ve got to prepare each week to play your best.”
Cody Leist can be reached at 353-3101, ext. 294, or firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking sports news, follow Cody on Twitter @CodyLeist.
C 0 0 7 0 — 7
V 0 7 14 6 — 26
V — Arnett 1 run (Romanello kick) 5:03
V — Loop 58 run (Romanello kick) 10:55
C — C. Meadows 82 run (Stephens kick) 9:22
V — Arnett 2 run (Romanello kick) 6:26
V — Rolfe 35 run (kick failed) 8:25
First Downs 10 12
Rush Att-Yds 46-222 33-247
Pass Att-Comp-Int 9-2-0 4-3-0
Pass Yds 17 41
Total Yds 239 288
Fumbles-Lost 1-1 2-1
Turnovers 1 1
Penalties-Yds 7-70 5-35
Punts-Avg 2-22.5 1-39
RUSHING: C — C. Meadows 17-105, Brown 23-91, Oldaker 4-6, McComas 1-(-8) ;V — Loop 2-72, Jordan 6-50, Howard 5-46, Arnett 11-44, Rolfe 7-21, Shope 1-16.
PASSING: C — Oldaker 2-9-0 17; V — Rolfe 3-4-0 41.
RECEIVING: C — C. Meadows 1-9, Saunders 1-8; V — Arnett 1-20, Shope 1-3, Clark-Holbrook 1-18.
Records — Chesapeake 0-4; Valley 4-0.