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High School Football -Week 4 Summary
Williams Valley hands UDA
first league loss

Upper Dauphin Area's Cameron Fornwald is swarmed by a stingy Williams Valley defense. (Sentinel photo byLon Zeiders0

Williams Valley remains undefeated in league play with a big road win over Upper Dauphin.  It was the Trojans’ first league loss of the season. Line Mountain and Tri-Valley continued to struggle, each dropping their third contest in four tries. All games on the schedule were played Sept. 19.

Williams Valley 20, Upper Dauphin Area 3. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Williams Valley’s football team is full of new faces, but the new-look Vikings once again conquered next-door neighbor UDA in Elizabethville. The victory has become a tradition for the Vikes, who have outscored the Trojans 167-17 through the past five years.

This year looked like it might play out a little differently compared to the four previous season. Both teams entered the contest 2-0 in the Tri-Valley League and 2-1 overall.

Early on, both teams struggled to move the ball. The Trojans struck first when newcomer Alex Uhler hit a 24-yard field goal in the north end zone as time expired on the first quarter. Uhler’s kick gave the host Trojans a 3-0 lead, and the home crowd a reason to believe that things might be different this year.

When Williams Valley’s Steven Hill missed a 30-plus yard field goal early in the second quarter, it seemed that the evening was settling in to be a slow, low-scoring contest. That remained true for the Trojans, but Williams Valley ignited after Hill’s field goal attempt sailed wide right.

The Vikings first struck after UDA failed on a fourth-and-short attempt deep in Williams Valley territory.  Head Coach Tim Savage dialed up a flea-flicker on the very next play, and his squad executed it to perfection.

Quarterback Nick Rodichok tossed the ball right to tailback Matt Miller, who stopped and heaved a deep ball to wide open receiver Cody Miller for a 35-yard touchdown that shifted the momentum in the visitors’ favor.

Even though the score remained tight at halftime as the Vikes led 7-3, the atmosphere didn’t seem as positive for the Trojans. Williams Valley’s running game was starting to eat up large chunks of real estate with every carry, and the Viking defense was stifling UDA’s offense.

Matt Miller led the Williams Valley ground attack, rushing for a game-high 173 yards and one touchdown. He was also one-for-one through the air for 35 yards and a touchdown.

The Trojans received the second-half kick and after a quick three-and-out and a shanked punt, the Vikings took over at UDA’s 38 yard line. Miller took a handoff from Rodichok on the very next play and ran 38 yards for a score, giving Williams Valley a 14-3 lead with 9:50 left in the third quarter.

Both teams’ defenses kept the offenses off the scoreboard for the next 10 minutes before Williams Valley struck for the final time.

Rodichok connected with Cody Miller for a 15-yard touchdown at the 11:56 mark in the fourth quarter to give the Vikes a permanent 20-3 lead.  Miller finished the game with four receptions for 58 yards and two touchdowns.

UDA had its chances. The Trojans intercepted Viking quarterback Rodichok four times in the game, but only once were they able to convert the turnover into points. In the end, that proved to be its Achilles’ Heel.

“The defense definitely played well tonight,” Savage said after the game.  “We still have a lot of work to do, but we continue to get better every week.”

The Viking defense held UDA to 83 total yards of offense – 70 on the ground and 13 through the air. By contrast, Williams Valley compiled 276 total yards – 224 on the ground and 52 through the air.

Savage knows the significance of the Vikings’ next game when they host Newport Friday, Sept. 26.

“We have to prepare diligently because they [Newport] have some players,” Savage told his team after the game.  “But they have to come to our town and beat us in our house, and we can’t let them do that.”

Juniata 47, Line Mountain 21, Sept. 19. Line Mountain gave undefeated Juniata all it could handle for a half last Friday night in Mandata, but the Indians’ Chantz Swartz put the visiting team on his shoulders and ended the Eagles’ upset bid with a dominating second half performance. The six-foot, 170-pound junior running back scored five touchdowns in the game, three came in the second-half. 

Line Mountain led 21-20 at the break after two touchdown runs by quarterback Ryan Reed and one receiving touchdown by Kenny Boyer.  Reed finished the game with 84 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 19 attempts.  He was 14-for-24 through the air for 171 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Boyer had three receptions for 43 yards and a score. Zach Bobb led the Eagle receivers with six receptions for 75 yards.

Unfortunately for the Eagles, it was all Juniata after intermission. The Indians outscored Line Mountain 27-0 in the final 24 minutes, fueled by Swartz’s two rushing touchdowns and one receiving touchdown.

Jim Thorpe 20, Tri-Valley 14, Sept. 19. Tri-Valley led 14-7 midway through the third quarter against visiting Jim Thorpe, but the ’Dawgs couldn’t hold on for their second win of the season.

The Bulldogs’ dynamic senior quarterback, Hunter Harner, started the scoring with a 35-yard touchdown run midway through the first quarter that gave the ’Dawgs a 6-0 lead. Harner finished the game with 91 rushing yards and one touchdown on 13 rushing attempts.  He was a cool five-for-13 for 32 yards through the air.

Jim Thorpe scored late in the second quarter to take a 7-6 lead at halftime.

Special teams and defense accounted for the next eight Tri-Valley points. The ’Dawgs blocked a punt out of the end zone early in the third quarter for a safety and senior defensive end Jericho Zemencik intercepted a pass and returned it eight yards for a touchdown.

The ’Dawgs led 14-7 with 6:23 left in the third quarter, but the Olympians scored two late touchdowns to steal away the victory.

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