ShareThis Page

Valley backs run wild

| Saturday, Sept. 24, 2005

KITTANNING -- Dwight Shannon and Tyler Santucci reminded Valley coach Troy Hill of some great Vikings backs.

The duo combined for 222 yards rushing and four touchdowns as the Vikings steamrolled Allegheny Conference rival Kittanning, 39-15, on Friday.

"They reminded me of running backs Billy Callihan and Brian Williams," Hill said. " They are unselfish kids, team players. Santucci is a big part of our team, and Shannon is a speedster. He gets better every game."

Shannon rushed for 136 yards on 18 carries, and Santucci scored three times, twice from a yard out as the Vikings improved to 3-0 in the conference and moved into first place with Ford City, which beat Shady Side Academy, 35-6, last night.

"They played power football on us and we couldn't stop them," Kittanning coach Sam Panchik said.

The Vikings offense rushed for 310 yards in the game.

"I am proud of our offensive line," Hill said. "I credit my offensive line coach for getting them ready."

And Valley was ready right from the start.

The Vikings took their opening drive 65 yards on seven plays to grab an early 6-0 lead.

Santucci scored twice in the second quarter to start the onslaught.

The Vikings started to take the momentum in the second quarter, leading 12-7.

Kittanning quarterback Colin McKelvey hit Kent Walker on a perfect screen pass that went for 15 yards and a first down. But it was called back on an illegal block, which brought the play back -- a 30-yard difference. McKelvey's next pass was intercepted by Ashton Saunders.

"That did help out," Hill said of Valley taking control of the game. "We were just lucky to get the momentum back."

The Vikings then scored 27 unanswered points.

"They just beat us at every phase of the game," Panchik said. "We made too many mistakes. We made mistakes and they didn't."

Valley seemingly could do no wrong.

The Vikings were called for just two penalties and even when they were stopped, turned it into something positive.

Leading 20-7 in the third quarter, Darwin Banks was stopped in the back field on a third-and-1, but before Bank's knee hit the ground, he flipped the ball to Anthony Howell, who ran for the first down. Four plays later, Howell ran for a two-yard score.

On the ensuing kickoff, Saunders recovered a fumble to give the Vikings the ball at Kittanning's 30. Shannon scored just 42 seconds later. Valley scored three times in 3:32 to break the game wide open.

The Wildcats offense was hurt without the running of Ryan Shepard, who missed the game because he was ill.

"We missed Ryan," Panchik said. "We missed his leadership, no question. He is one of our co-captains and team leaders."

Without Shepard, the Kittanning's offense sputtered all evening. The Wildcats had 66 total first-half yards and finished with just 164 yards.

Valley visits Shady Side Academy next week, while Kittanning will travel to Burrell.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me