SALINEVILLE, Ohio (WKBN) – Valley Christian is now in position to win the Eastern Ohio Athletic Conference outright after their 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 just a single opponent to score more than 17-points this year (Lisbon, 18). The Eagles currently sport an average of 8.8 points allowed per game.
In their third year in the EOAC, the Eagles (8-0) have the opportunity to clinch at least a share of the league championship next week when they meet Wellsville.
In the first quarter, both Southern and Valley Christian possessed the ball twice. The defenses stood tall as neither of them gave their opponents the opportunity to score. At the end of the quarter, Southern fumbled the ball inside of their own territory. The Eagles’ senior cornerback Phillip Spradley stripped the ball away and recovered the fumble at the Indians’ 27-yard line.
However, Valley Christian couldn’t cash in as the Eagles turned the ball over on downs.
From there, Southern finished their next drive by seeing quarterback Ryan Exline score a touchdown on the ground 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 raced 27 yards into Eagles’ territory. Colton Soukop then rushed 11 yards. On fourth down at Valley Christian’s 35-yard line, Morris was called upon again to pick up the first down on a 5-yard run. Morris then carried the ball 25 yards inside the 5-yard line.
At the end of the first half, Jhordan Peete intercepted a Southern pass over the middle on fourth down inside the red zone. Then, it was Southern’s sophomore Rich Sloan, who picked off an errant-pass that was tipped at the 25-yard line. However, it was all for not as Southern failed to convert a first down as time expired on the first twenty-four minutes.
Both defenses continued to establish themselves in the third quarter. No bigger than at the end of the third quarter when Southern’s coach Rich Wright rolled the dice on their side of the field on fourth down. Valley Christian’s defense was up for the task as they stopped Morris on a carry up the middle.
After not able to make much ground, the Eagles faced a fourth down from Southern’s 41-yard line. Jhordan Peete found Veshun Gurley across the middle on a touchdown pass and catch to tie the game. After an offsides penalty on the Indians, coach Andy Hake called upon Jon’trell Mixon, a 6’4, 240-pound athlete, to take the snap up the middle for the crucial two-point conversion (8-6).
After a botched snap on an attempted punt, Valley Christian regained possession at the Indian goal line. Mixon called his number once again and went in untouched. Peete followed up the score with a successful extra point to extend the Eagles’ lead to 9-points (15-6).
Next week, Southern (7-1) is set to meet East Palestine.
Valley Christian, 15-6 (Final)
S – Ryan Exline, 1-yard TD run (run failed, 6:31)
V – Veshun Gurley, 41-yard TD catch from Jhordan Peete (Jon’trell Mixon run, 11:52)
V – Mixon, 1-yard TD run (Peete kick, 10:11)
Get updated high school football scores throughout the season on the WKBN scores page.
Track the latest conference battles on the WKBN high school football standings page.
You can also watch interviews and get player profiles from some of the best players in the Valley by visiting the WKBN Big 22 page.