Valley downs Yough to win 3rd in a row
Valley junior running back Demetrius Houser turned heads with four long touchdown plays, while Yough attracted double-takes with costly and unusual mistakes in the kicking game.
Houser rushed for 190 yards, including touchdowns of 70, 54 and 44 yards, on 12 carries and returned a blocked punt 45 yards for another score as Valley continued its resurgence by blowing past Yough, 40-28, Friday night in a Class AA nonconference matchup.
Valley (4-2), which spent the previous two years in Class AAA and entered the season on a 22-game losing streak, notched its third victory in a row.
The Vikings are in the chase for a WPIAL playoff berth out of the Allegheny Conference.
Yough (2-4) fell behind, 20-0, in the first quarter and dropped its fourth consecutive game.
“This pushed us forward,” Houser said. “We're working to get a home playoff game. We just have to keep working and try to do this every day one day a time.”
Valley senior running back Jaden Walker, who switched between fullback and tailback with Houser, contributed 53 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries, and senior Kevin Frame added a 30-yard score on a botched punt by Yough.
“We've been stressing, ‘Stay up and get one win at a time,' ” Valley coach Chad Walsh said. “We've really been working on running the football. That's been our calling card so far this season.”
Yough junior quarterback Tyler Donahue completed 10 of 30 for 105 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for an 18-yard score, but most of that came late in the game.
Valley held a comfortable 33-7 lead at the end of the third quarter.
Yough suffered from problems in the kicking game.
Near the end of the first quarter, Valley freshman D'Aundre Johnson partially blocked a punt. The ball traveled about five yards past the line of scrimmage before Houser grabbed it and broke loose for a touchdown.
Johnson also threw a block on the last defender who had a chance to catch Houser. That gave Valley a 20-0 lead.
Late in the second quarter with Valley leading, 27-7, Yough tried a 25-yard field goal.
The kick was blocked, and Houser started what looked like a promising return.
But the referee inadvertently whistled the play over soon after the block, nullifying the return.
Yough's troubles continued, however, when Donahue's punt hit a blocking back a few feet in front of him, popped up, was caught by Frame and returned for a touchdown with 41.8 seconds left before halftime. The Vikings took a 27-7 lead to the locker room.
Paul Kogut is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-224-2696.