SALINEVILLE, Ohio (WKBN) – Valley Christian is now in position to win the Eastern Ohio Athletic Conference after its 15-6 victory over Southern.
Entering the contest, the Indians had averaged 43.1 points per game. Tonight, it was the defense that stood out for both teams.
Valley Christian has allowed only one opponent to score more than 17 points this year (Lisbon, 18). The Eagles are currently averaging 8.8 points allowed per game.
In their third year in the EOAC, the Eagles (8-0) have a chance to clinch at least a piece of the league championship next week when they take on Wellsville.
In the first quarter, both Southern and Valley Christian had the ball twice. The defenses stood tall as neither of them gave their opponents a chance to score. Late in the quarter, Southern fumbled the ball into his own territory. Eagles senior cornerback Phillip Spradley fumbled and recovered the fumble at the Indians 27-yard line.
However, Valley Christian was unable to capitalize as the Eagles turned the ball over on opportunities.
From there, Southern ended their next drive by seeing quarterback Ryan Exline score a rushing touchdown on a 4th-and-1 at Valley Christian’s goal line to open the scoring midway through the second quarter. To set up the score, Wyatt Morris ran 27 yards into Eagles territory. Colton Soukop then ran for 11 yards. On fourth down at the Valley Christian 35-yard line, Morris was called back to take the first down on a 5-yard run. Morris then carried the ball 25 yards inside the 5-yard line.
Late in the first half, Jhordan Peete intercepted a Southern pass up the middle on fourth down inside the red zone. Then it was Southern sophomore Rich Sloan who intercepted an errant pass that went wide at the 25-yard line. All to no avail, however, as Southern failed to convert a first down as time expired at the first twenty-four minutes.
Both defenses continued to consolidate in the third quarter. No bigger than late in the third quarter when Southern coach Rich Wright rolled the dice on his side of the field on fourth down. Valley Christian’s defense was up for the task when they stopped Morris on a run up the middle.
After failing to gain much ground, the Eagles faced a fourth down from the Southern 41-yard line. Jhordan Peete found Veshun Gurley up the middle on a touchdown pass and catch to tie the game. After an offside penalty to the Indians, coach Andy Hake called up Jon’trell Mixon, a 6-foot-4, 240-pound athlete, to take center for the crucial two-point conversion (8-6).
After a failed cross on a clearance attempt, Valley Christian regained possession at the Indian goal line. Mixon called his number one more time and entered intact. Peete followed up with a successful extra point to extend the Eagles’ lead to 9 points (15-6).
Next week, the south (7-1) will face the east of Palestine.
Christian Valley, 15-6 (Final)
S – Ryan Exline, 1-yard TD run (run run failed, 6:31)
V – Veshun Gurley, Jhordan Peete 41-yard touchdown catch (Jon’trell Mixon run, 11:52)
V – Mixon, 1-yard touchdown run (Peete kick, 10:11)
Get up-to-date high school football scores throughout the season on WKBN’s scores page.
Follow the latest conference battles on the WKBN high school football standings page.
You can also watch interviews and get player profiles of some of the best players in the Valley by visiting the WKBN Big 22 page.