Shady Side Academy slows Valley in 10-8 victory
Following a game with zero on-field altercations, Shady Side Academy coach Dave Havern and Valley coach Chad Walsh spoke about their teams punching each other.
Boxing talk befit the Allegheny Conference clash between two first-place teams: The game was brutal and brazen.
Shady Side Academy (3-0, 3-0), ranked No. 6 in Class AA by the Tribune-Review News Service, survived a late-game barrage by No. 10 Valley (2-1, 2-1) to win, 10-8.
“This is why I keep doing it, why I keep coming back (to coach) — because of games like that and efforts like that,” Havern said. “After each setback, our kids kept coming back and coming back.”
The host Vikings turned the ball over four times in the second half, including in the final minute at the Indians' 19-yard line. They blocked a punt to set up that last scoring opportunity.
“We put ourselves in a position to win that game,” Walsh said. “We didn't quit to the very end. They're one hell of a football team. … You can't give teams like that those opportunities, because they'll eventually punch one in.”
Shady Side Academy and Valley reached the end zone for their first touchdowns via the air.
Charles Calabrese's rolled out to his left and launched his first pass attempt to a Louis Berry, who strolled into the end zone for a 28-yard score.
With less than three minutes left in the half, Valley drove 86 yards to answer. The Vikings overcame first-and-26 with passes to Tyson Hill and Demetrius Houser.
After his first-down-producing run and catch of 24 yards, Houser had another reception for 35 yards.
Two plays later, Hill won a jump ball in the front-left corner of the end zone. A roughing-the-kicker call negated an extra-point attempt that hit the right upright, and Valley capitalized on the second chance with a two-point conversion run by Matthews.
That passing success disappeared in the second half: Matthews connected just twice on seven attempts.
The Indians picked him off three times, though two were on passes tipped by his targets.
Calabrese used his legs to set up the game's only other scoring drive. Following an Indians fumble recovery at Valley's 28, Calabrese kept the ball on designed runs four straight times to pick up 18 yards. After Shady Side Academy gained just 5 yards on its next four plays, Dan Marous kicked a 22-yard field goal with 3:28 left in the third.
Senior Jarred Brevard finished with a game-high 68 rushing yards for the Indians. Houser rushed for a team-high 46 yards for the Vikings.