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Valley victimized by Pine-Richland passing attack

| Saturday, Oct. 6, 2001

RICHLAND TOWNSHIP: The Pine-Richland Rams resembled their NFL namesakes from St. Louis. The Valley Vikings resembled, well, themselves.

Rams quarterback Kevin McCabe torched the Vikings secondary for 296 yards and five touchdowns - three of those for 35 yards or longer - as Pine-Richland cruised to a 42-6 victory over the winless Vikings.

'Yeah, the frustration is there,' said Valley tailback Scott Gaberish, who finished with 119 yards rushing on 12 carries. 'We just keep coming back to the huddle and say, ÔForget about it,' and 'Keep trying.' '

The Vikings defense did keep trying, holding the Rams' starting backfield to only 72 yards rushing. Valley's steady running game also kept the contest close into the second quarter. That's when Valley shot themselves in the foot.

Trailing 7-6, Gaberish ripped off a 53-yard run to the 16-yard line, but the Vikings fumbled on the next play. Pine-Richland took over and marched 84 yards for a score. Gaberish might have scored on the long gain had he not staggered along the slippery turf. The brand surface resembles more of a shag carpet than artificial turf.

'Yeah, I might have been gone (for a touchdown) but the turf is like rubber and a lot of us had trouble running on it,'' he said. 'I slipped and ended up stumbling for 15 yards or so.'

Down 14-6, the Vikings stuffed Pine-Richland deep in their own territory. However, a roughing the passer penalty on third-and-10 gave the Rams a first down. McCabe immediately took advantage, launching a 40-yard bomb to Adam Sarver to take a 21-6 lead and ultimately spearheading the Kevin McCabe air show.

'Being a young team we're going to make those kinds of mistakes,'' said Valley coach Ray White. 'But those are the mistakes that really hurt us and turn the whole game around.'

Pine-Richland flankers Neil Walker and Brandon Devennie combined for three touchdown catches and both had more than 100 yards receiving. Adam Sarver added two catches for touchdowns.

For Valley, the offensive line paved the way for more than 200 yards rushing, despite losing starting guard Pat Weber to a knee injury. Perhaps the biggest Vikings highlight was when backup punter Josh Orr boomed an 81-yard punt late in the fourth quarter.

'That,' White said, 'might have been our best play of the night.'

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