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Miscues doom Valley against Shady Side Academy

| Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012, 12:12 a.m.

Shady Side Academy stopped Valley from playing the spoiler's role in the dedication of Michael J. Farrell Stadium, posting a 16-6 win Friday night in a Class AA Allegheny Conference game.

Shady Side (3-0, 3-0) slipped by Valley (1-2, 1-2) in a defense-dominated game in which one Valley turnover proved extremely costly.

With the score tied at 6 late in the third quarter, Valley junior quarterback Ty Matthews was intercepted by Shady Side senior linebacker Chris Bush.

Shady Side then embarked on a game-winning, 34-yard drive. The Indians took a 13-6 lead on a four-play drive that featured all runs and was capped by a 20-yard touchdown jaunt by senior quarterback Matt Granato.

Granato scored both of Shady Side's touchdowns on the ground.

Shady Side played without its top two running backs: Juniors Jerrard Brevard and Dennis Briggs were out with ankle injuries. Shady Side needed a productive ball carrier, and Granato answered the call.

“We needed him to step up,” coach Dave Havern said. “We lost our two big guns because we run the ball around here. We knew we had to throw the ball more. He threw some real nice passes, and he missed a couple by a couple of inches that would've been touchdowns.”

Valley got on the board first in the second quarter.

Junior running back Demetrius Houser scored from 1 yard out, but the extra point was blocked.

Mistakes haunted the Vikings. A pair of 5-yard penalties kept a 14-play Shady Side scoring drive alive in the second quarter. Granato ended up scoring from 12 yards to tie it at 6.

Valley coach Chad Walsh knew his team couldn't afford to make many errors.

“A few mistakes — that's all it is,” he said. “When you have a team like this, you can't give them too many opportunities. We shot ourselves in the foot prior to the interception. ... We're up 6-nothing, and if we hold them there, it might be a different ballgame. Instead, we get a 12-man penalty on a fourth-and-2.”

D.J. Vasil is a freelance writer.

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