Valley Christian wins in overtime over Lisbon


Eagles score on last play of regulation to force overtime

POLAND, OHIO (WKBN) – The Valley Christian Eagles persevered to win a hard-fought 28-20 contest in overtime Saturday night over the Lisbon Blue Devils.  The win was the first on the season for the Eagles, while the Blue Devils drop to 0-3 on the season.

“We are a young football team and we need to learn how to win,” Eagles head coach Jomont Ware remarked.  “We have a bunch of great young men that give everything to these coaches and they just want to win.  I think tonight is a prime example of them not giving up and pushing through.”

With the Devils leading 20-14 and only 4:50 remaining in the game, the Devils had an opportunity to run out the clock and capture their first win.  But following three plays that only netted 5-yards, the Devils were forced to punt the ball away.  The Eagles Nasir Long pushed the Devils blocker back into the punter causing a blocked punt and the Eagles gaining possession with 3:12 remaining in the game.

“He actually came up to me and said, ‘Coach, I’m going to block it’.  I trust him and I trust our kids.  They trust me and I believe in them so I said, ‘Hey, as long as you don’t run into him, go get it’.  I’m very proud of Nasir Long, he has grown up a lot,” Ware said of his junior lineman.

“The blocked punt was the turning point at hat point and time of the game,” Devils head coach Alan Mikovich said.  “Not saying that they couldn’t have mounted a drive if we had gotten it off.  But it gave them the momentum at that point and time.”

The Eagles drove to the Devils 3-yard line, and on a third and goal with only 2-seconds remaining, Izaiah McKinley was able to blast into the endzone to tie the game at 20-20.  The Devils blocked the extra point, forcing the overtime session.

McKinley would race 19-yards on the first play in overtime, with quarterback Tyrone Lindsey sneaking in for the eventual game-winning touchdown.  The Eagles would stop the Devils in their overtime possession on a fourth-down attempt at the 13-yard line.

The Eagles scored first in the contest on a 77-yard run by Lindsey at the 4:27 mark of the first quarter.  But the Devils would answer with 1:34 remaining in the quarter on a 45-yard pass from quarterback Tyler Welsh to Ryan McCullough.  The Devils would miss the extra point to make 7-6 in favor of the Eagles.

After both teams seemed to have settled into a defensive slugfest, the game exploded with offense in a one minute span on three consecutive plays.  The Devils would take their first lead of the game at the 9:08 mark of the fourth quarter when Welsh found Joey Fisher on a 13-yard slant to make it 12-7.  The Eagles answered on the next play with a 71-yard run by McKinley at 8:47, followed by a 72-yard scamper by McCullough with 8:28 remaining in the quarter.  That made it 20-14 in favor of the Devils, setting up the exciting fourth-quarter finish.

“I’m so proud of my kids at how hard they fought tonight.  I couldn’t have asked for anything more,” Mikovich said.  “It was a great game, congratulations to Valley Christian.”

“We grew as a team tonight,” Mikovich added.  “I’m more concerned about Lisbon than anybody else, so I think Lisbon grew tonight and they are going to continue to get better.”

The Blue Devils begin league play next Friday when they host EOAC rival East Palestine.   The Eagles will play at Western Reserve Academy next Saturday.

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