Valley handles Freeport in shutout win
A touchdown off an early turnover and another on a punt return put Valley in the driver's seat, and the Vikings let their defense do the rest.
Freeport reached Valley territory only twice as the Vikings cruised to a 42-0 Allegheny Conference victory at James Swartz Memorial Stadium.
Valley quarterback Ty Matthews scored a touchdown, threw for two more and tossed a pair of conversion passes for the Vikings (3-1, 3-1).
Demetrius Houser ran for 130 yards and Matthews passed for 95 yards as Valley took an 8-4 lead in the all-time series between the two schools.
The Yellowjackets fumbled on its first play from scrimmage at the Valley 19. Five plays later, Matthews scored on a keeper and fired a conversion pass to Devin Houser.
Freeport (1-3, 1-3) punted after three plays, and Adrian Morris scampered almost untouched on a 73-yard punt return to put the Vikings in front, 14-0, with 5:08 left in the first quarter.
“It was great to get that early fumble and we were due to break one on special teams, eventually” Valley coach Chad Walsh said. ”We have enough guys out there to do it.”
After a nine-yard Yellowjackets punt, the Vikings drove 42 yards in five plays. Demetrius Hauser scored from 3 yards out and Valley led 20-0 after Freeport had run just seven offensive plays.
“It was a flashback to the Kittanning game when we went three-and-out they got the ball real close,” Freeport coach John Gaillot said. “We have to learn from our mistakes and we only had one penalty, so that's a positive.”
In the second quarter, the Yellowjackets got to the Valley 25, as deep as they would go all night.
Valley answered with a 43-yard scoring pass from Matthews to sophomore Tyson Hill.
Walsh was happy how his team responded after last week's 10-8 setback to Shady Side Academy.
“Our goal was to come in and try to be up four scores by the half like we did,” Walsh said. “We had to come back after last week and refocus and play a good football game.”
A 63-yard run by Demetrius Hauser early in the third quarter set up a 22-yard scoring run by cousin Devin Houser.
“It's a nice compliment, they're different styles of runners,” Walsh said. “Demetrius is fast and Devin is shifty, so it's a nice one-two punch for us.”
A 24-yard pass from Matthews to Hill concluded the scoring and put the PIAA's continuous clock rules in effect.
Despite the loss, Gaillot liked what he saw from some of his underclassmen.
“We're building a lot of character,” Gaillot said. “Things are going to start going our way. We're going to start making plays and we're seeing kids start to stand up for themselves and their teammates.”
George Guido is a freelance writer.