HOUTZDALE — The visiting Glendale Vikings got off to a quick start Friday night at CNB Bank Stadium against the Moshannon Valley Black Knights, scoring two touchdowns within the first eight minutes of the game. That ended up being enough as the Vikings held off the Black Knights by a 24-6 final.
Vikings running back Cory Johnston gained 127 yards on 22 carries and two touchdowns.
“Mo Valley has a lot of size upfront and they’re very physical,” Glendale head coach Dave Trexler said. “They were putting a lot of guys in the box — a lot of blitzing. That was putting a lot of pressure on our running game. A lot of the runs that Cory (Johnston) had, there were guys on him. (It showed) a lot of determination along with some scheme, but there was more heart in some of those plays. He really took over at certain points.”
The Vikings got their first touchdown on the night with a 5-yard Johnston touchdown run that capped off a nine play, 60-yard opening drive with 6:45 left in the first quarter — as Mo Valley went three-and-out on its first possession.
The Knights then went three-and-out on its second possession, and after a bad punt set up the Vikings at the Black Knights 27-yard line, quarterback Garret Misiura found Baine Seilhamer for a 27-yard score. Glendale’s two-point try failed, but it held a 12-0 lead.
“We didn’t come out with any kind of fire,” Mo Valley head coach Michael Keith said. “We came out flat and we gave them two scores. You can’t do that, especially the way our offense is built. We can’t do it because we can’t come back from it. Credit to them, they did a great job.”
The Black Knights got its offense churning in the second quarter with Joe Bacher and fellow running back Scott McCoy running through Viking defenders with regularity.
But on multiple occasions, Mo Valley got into Glendale territory and came up empty.
The Black Knights had a well-sustained drive near the end of the second quarter, as McCoy bowled Viking defenders over en route to a game high 128 rushing yards on the night. However on fourth-and-goal at the 1-yard line, McCoy was stuffed in the backfield by multiple Glendale defenders to hold Mo Valley out of the end zone.
“You have to score there,” Keith said of his team getting to the Glendale 1-yard line. “That was big. Going into halftime, it’s 12-0. We score and kick an extra point and it’s 12-7. Not getting that, that hurts.”
Glendale then took a 12-0 lead into the half and after both teams traded interceptions to start the third quarter, the Vikings found pay dirt again after getting great field position off the Suds Dubler interception. Six plays later, Johnston found the end zone on a 4-yard run to give Glendale an 18-0 lead.
With 56 seconds left in the third quarter, Glendale tacked on another touchdown — this time on a pitch to Tristan Rutter for a 4-yard score to give the Vikings a 24-0 lead.
The Black Knights finally got on the board with 1:37 left in the game, thanks to a bruising 25-yard run by McCoy to set the final at 24-6.
“Mo Valley is a really good team,” Trexler said. “I’m not just saying that. We knew it was going to be physical and it was a tough fought game.”
Trexler was happy with his team’s overall performance on the night.
“The beautiful part about this team is we have a lot of guys that will accept whatever role is given to them each week,” Trexler said. “Seth Dudurich did an amazing job blocking tonight and he’s the type of kid that can take over the game running the ball. But that unselfish type of play is what’s making this team who they are. They’re beginning to find themselves and it’s exciting to be a part of it.”
Although it lost, Mo Valley actually outgained the Vikings on the night with 239 yards against Glendale’s 208 yards. Bacher had 73 yards on 22 carries, eclipsing the 1,000 yard mark on the season.
“Scotty (McCoy), he’s running harder and harder every week,” Keith said. “Joe (Bacher) went over 1,000 yards tonight and he’s done a great job all year.”
Trexler was also pleased that his team’s passing attack showed up early, which included the Seilhamer touchdown reception.
“I know it sounds cliche but we really concentrate on getting better each week,” Trexler said. “The passing game is what’s been lagging a bit but we know we can throw when we need to. I think we showed a little bit of that tonight.”
With the win, Glendale improves to 5-2 on the season and looks to make it three games in a row as it hosts Tussey Mountain next week.
“We’re taking each week as we go,” Trexler said. “We’re enjoying the highs and it’s a journey. We’re just going to try and build on it. Next week’s another big test. It just doesn’t get easy. We just have to keep focusing on us and keep doing the right things and good things will happen.”
Moshannon Valley fell to 2-5 on the season and travels to Juniata Valley next week.
“We’ve got three games left and I told them we can have fun these last three games,” Keith said. “Maybe we win them and maybe we don’t. Who knows, but we’re going to have a good time.”