Throughout the course of the 2017 season, the Valley Indians have showcased their improvement on both sides of the football across multiple affair.
However, Friday evening’s nonconference affair against Belpre was arguably Valley’s finest showing to date across the entire year.
Andrew Shope completed eight of his 12 passes for 106 yards and three touchdowns, Gabe Streeter and Kayden Mollette combined to run for 236 yards on just 19 carries, and Darren Crabtree’s defensive unit held the Golden Eagles to just 37 yards rushing in a dominating 48-7 victory to move to 3-5 on the year.
From the outset, Shope proved to be on the money as the junior signal-caller wasted no time capping off Valley drives with poise and confidence.
Within the first 13 minutes of Friday evening’s affair, Shope found Tanner Cunningham for a 19-yard touchdown pass with 8:14 to play in the opening quarter, threw a seven-yard touchdown pass to Jesse Jones with 4:14 left in the opening frame of action, and took a three-yard run to paydirt with 11:04 to play in the second quarter to immediately put Valley in firm control on the contest.
However, Valley was far from done. Mollette’s 79-yard burst with 4:19 to go in the first half, and Shope’s third and final touchdown pass — a 13-yard strike from Shope to Tyler Mitchell with 47 seconds to go in the opening half of play — started the running clock. Streeter’s own long run — a 61-yard tote — and a Wesley Holbrook 10-yard dash rounded out the scoring for Indians.
In addition to Shope’s 106 yards, Streeter and Mollette used their long touchdown spurts to hit the 100-yard mark on the ground, as the former ran for 136 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries while the latter obtained exactly 100 yards on seven carries in the win to help Valley obtain 413 total yards of offense over the entire affair.
Streeter, who also added 26 yards on a catch, was also joined by Cunningham (two catches, 25 yards, TD), Connor Fell (one catch, 24 yards), Mitchell (one catch, 13 yards), Jones (one catch, seven yards), and Mollette (one catch, four yards) in the receiving tally. Cayton Ruby rounded out the effort by going a perfect six-for-six on extra-point attempts.
Defensively, Valley was led by JT Ward, who collected 10 tackles on the evening. Mitchell, Austin McIntosh, and Jake Ashkettle combined to collect three fumble recoveries en route to aiding the Indians in its raid.
With the victory, the Indians will turn their attention to an SOC II battle against Wheelersburg, whom Valley will host on Friday evening. Belpre, who scored its lone touchdown with 7:20 to play in the contest, fell to 3-5 with the loss.