By Anthony Mitchell
For The Daily Item
ELIZABETHVILLE — Giving a team with offensive firepower a short field can result in a quick momentum shift. A stop for Williams Valley did just that in the second quarter.
The Vikings (2-0) cashed in with a short field and began a 34-point rally for a 41-7 win over Upper Dauphin.
“We came into the game knowing (Williams Valley) had a lot of weapons,” Upper Dauphin head coach Brent Bell said. “I think we played tough and I was really proud of our kids for how they played.”
With 2:20 left in the first quarter, the Trojans tied the game at seven on a frenzied fourth-down conversion. The Trojans started the drive at their own 39-yard line and quickly moved the ball into Vikings territory before the drive appeared to stall. The Trojans (0-2) were unable to move the ball forward on the first three downs. Facing a fourth-and-10 at the Vikings 43-yard line and down seven points against a team that held their previous opponent scoreless, Austin Weaver found Trey Campbell behind the Vikings defense. Campbell gritted his way into the end zone with defenders in tow. After a roughing-the-kicker penalty gave the Trojans a second chance to tie the game, Madison Crum-Burger added the extra point.
“I was ecstatic,” Bell said. “The corner definitely bit in and our receiver made a nice play. Anytime you score against a team of their caliber early on the game, it definitely gave us some confidence.”
The Vikings then started a drive at the Trojans’ 43 yard-line after a punt deep in UDA territory. The Vikings wasted little time marching to the end zone as Stephen Sedesse connected with Owen Daniel for a big 16-yard reception. Daniel finished the night with eight catches for 99 yards.
Williams Valley then put the ball into the hands of their backfield tandem, Cole Barnhardt and Trevor Whelski, to finish off the possession; Whelski pounded the ball in from 2 yards out. The Trojans brought defensive pressure on the extra-point attempt, forcing a miss to keep the score at 13-7.
After another stop on defense, Sedesse once again found Daniel open, this time for a touchdown. The Vikings converted a two-point conversion after the 12-yard pitch-and-catch from Sedesse to Daniels to take a 21-7 lead into the locker room.
The Vikings wasted little time padding their lead after an interception provided another short field. Whelski was on the receiving end of a 28-yard strike from Sedesse to give the Vikings a 28-7 advantage. The Sedesse-to-Daniel connection worked once more in the third quarter on a 16-yard TD that pushed the lead to 34-7.
Barnhardt added the final score of the game, an 8-yard touchdown on the ground. He finished with 126 yards in his encore to a 300-yard, five-touchdown performance against Minersville in the opener.
By Anthony Mitchell
- Upper Dauphin News Wire
Team W L PF PA Pine Grove (10-1)* 9 0 317 98 Williams Valley (10-2) 8 1 404 167 Tri-Valley (8-3) 7 2 258 244 Upper Dauphin (7-3) 6 3 268 178 Newport (6-4) 5 4 271 175 Juniata (5-5) 4 5 296 213 Millersburg (3-7) 3 6 201 340 Line Mountain (3-7) 2 7 154 201 East Juniata (2-8) 1 8 181 292 Halifax (0-10) 0 9 49 476
*-Denotes league champion
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