Mo Valley tripped up by Claysburg-Kimmel, 21-9
Saturday, October 15, 2011
By Jon Christoff Sports Writer
CLAYSBURG - Like the playing conditions at Bulldog Stadium on Friday night, the Moshannon Valley football team's effort can be summed up in one word - sloppy.
The Black Knights turned the ball over three times and ran 30 fewer plays than Claysburg-Kimmel, which rushed 59 times for 234 yards in a 21-9 win over Mo Valley - its first in the series since 2001.
Conversely, the Knight rushing tandem of Derek Southern and Dylan Ludwig combined for 14 carries and 56 yards - 35 of which came on Ludwig's first carry of the game early in the second quarter.
The senior duo has tallied just 30 carries between them in the last two games - both Knight losses - for a total of 134 yards. Southern and Ludwig each had at least 13 carries and 71 yards in the four prior games in which both saw action.
"We could see this coming over the last couple of weeks," said Mo Valley head coach Murray Fetzer. "This team started out with something to prove, and it seemed like after the Glendale game we lost a little bit of that edge.
"We were fortunate to overcome a deficit against Tussey (Mountain), but if we don't play with heart and we don't play with determination and we don't play as a team, it's difficult to win."
The Knights' stagnant offense, which ran just three plays in the opening quarter, finally broke a six quarter-plus scoreless drought with an uptempo, no-huddle attack in the waning minutes of the third quarter.
Trailing 14-0, Mo Valley quarterback Joel Martin completed five of six attempts on the series and cut the Bulldogs' advantage in half with a four-yard option keeper.
"(The no-huddle) started to spark the offense," said Fetzer. "We wanted to control (the ball because) we have two great backs, but we're just not getting the push on the line that we need to get them some openings.
"So, we had to go to the hurry-up offense and that opened some things up a bit. We relied on Joel to really take over the game and throw."
Like it had all game, though, Claysburg-Kimmel answered the bell and marched down the field to regain the 14-point cushion.
The Bulldogs' Zach Helsel led the charge - as he ended the night with 38 carries for 180 yards and two touchdowns - to help his squad snap a four-game losing streak.
"They were getting five, six, seven yards a pop," Fetzer said, "and when you (can't stop it), it's hard to win a football game.
"It was nothing fancy. They beat us up front. When you win a football game, you usually control the line of scrimmage. We got controlled tonight. They came out and said, ‘we're going to take it right to you,' and they did."
After an interception went through Martin's hands and into Jared Ickes' in the end zone for the Bulldogs' answering score, the Knight signal-caller engineered a drive deep into Claysburg-Kimmel territory early in the fourth quarter.
From Page 9
Ickes proved to be Martin's nemesis, though, as he tiptoed the sideline for an interception at the Bulldog 1 to keep it a 21-7 contest.
Martin finished the game 11-of-19 through the air for 131 yards. Logan Cook hauled in six passes for 68 yards, while James Stodart added three for 40.
"We did an excellent job keeping the ball in our possession," said Bulldog head coach Joey Kitt, "which is what we wanted to do.
"They have two really good backs ... and, I'll tell you what, we played a pretty solid game on defense to stop those two kids. I couldn't be prouder of our defense. They did a great job."
The Knights burned all three of their timeouts in stopping Claysburg-Kimmel after Ickes' interception, but an alert play by Bulldog punter Devin Weyandt kept it a two-score game after the snap from center sailed over his head.
Weyandt ran backward 26 yards and took the safety to set the final, as Claysburg-Kimmel forced the second Mo Valley fumble on the first play from scrimmage following the free kick.
"We said to do that in the huddle when they called timeout," Kitt said of taking the safety. "He listened and he did a great job.
"We knew it was going to be a tough game with the field conditions. We did an excellent job of executing tonight. ... We knew we were right there, but we just needed to take that next step to get over the hump. The kids did a great job of that tonight."
After running 20 plays in the opening quarter, the Bulldogs got on the board after just three in the second.
Helsel punched in a fourth-and-goal from the 3 with the first of his two touchdown runs to give Claysburg-Kimmel a 6-0 edge at halftime.
Helsel's second run came after the Bulldog defense forced a Mo Valley punt on the opening series of the second half. The plunge came from five yards out.
"They just wanted it more than us," said Fetzer. "They took it to us and they played with heart. ... My hat's off to Joey and Claysburg because they took it to us. Their front five beat our front five bad."
The Knights (4-3) will look to rebound from consecutive losses for the first time this season on Friday when they travel to Inter-County Conference rival West Branch.
"We've got a great group of guys," Fetzer said, "but we've got to dig down deep because West Branch is a great football team. They're going to smashmouth you and come right at you. We'll see (how our guys respond)."
Moshannon Valley 9
Score By Quarters
Moshannon Valley 0 0 7 2- 9
Claysburg-Kimmel 0 6 8 7-21
CK-Helsel 3 run, (kick failed), 11:11.
CK-Helsel 5 run, (Helsel pass from Dodson), 3:26.
MV-J. Martin 4 run, (T. Martin kick), 1:22.
CK-J. Ickes 12 pass from Dodson, (T. Ickes kick), 8:33.
MV-Safety, punter ran out of end zone, 3:13.
Total First Downs 8 19
Rushes-Yards 18-72 59-234
Comp-Att-Int 11-19-1 5-8-1
Passing Yards 131 56
Total Plays-Yards 37-203 67-290
Fumbles-Lost 2-2 1-0
Punts-Avg 3-32 1-27
Penalties-Yards 5-48 5-30
Moshannon Valley-D. Ludwig 6-37, Southern 8-19, J. Martin 4-16.
Claysburg-Kimmel-Helsel 38-180, J. Ickes 5-35, T. Ickes 6-24, Repko 3-13, Dodson 2-7, Strayer 1-4, Team 4-(-29).
Moshannon Valley-J. Martin 11-of-19, 131 yds., Int.
Claysburg-Kimmel-Dodson 5-of-8, 56 yds., TD, Int.
Moshannon Valley-Cook 6-68, Stodart 3-40, D. Ludwig 2-22, Southern 0-1.
Claysburg-Kimmel-Repko 4-44, J. Ickes 1-12.