Overall, the Battle of Lucasville-Minford Road is one of the most hyped rivalries that can be found across the Tri-State Area — because as past results suggest, both units have shown no give up in the game itself.
And with the contest coming down to a two-touchdown margin or less in five of the last six affairs, that certainly is a no-doubter.
But over the past six seasons, the Minford Falcons hadn’t claimed a victory over the Valley Indians in the Battle of Lucasville-Minford Road. That is, until Friday night.
Kelton Kelley’s abilities at the quarterback position led to the junior scoring all six of Minford’s touchdowns, with electric sophomore Darius Jordan proving to be on the receiving end of a pair of those receptions as the Falcons held their ground, defended their turf, and walked away with its first victory since 2010 as a result as Minford defeated Valley, 41-27, on Friday evening in Minford.
“I’m glad we walked away with a victory tonight,” Minford head coach Jesse Ruby said. “Seeing these boys and all of their hard work for the past four years made them really deserve a final victory and I’m glad they were successful.”
From the opening quarter forward, the contest proved to have that intensity that most Minford-Valley contests were known for as Valley immediately thwarted Minford’s initial attempt to reach paydirt by knocking a Kelley pass out of bounds. Valley then wasted no time capitalizing on its opportunity to collect as Gabe Streeter managed to train through the entire defensive line to put the Indians inside the red zone.
Soon after, and with a single successful drive, Andrew Shope waltzed his way into the endzone, making the Indians seem rather assertive early on as Valley took an early 6-0 advantage.
While the Indians seemed strong, they were not without pressure; this was the Falcons home field after all. With the final minutes dwindling within the first, Minford’s bullet of a wide receiver, Breydan Tilley, collected a massive reception which landed the Falcons on the five yard line. After this brave display of skill, it was Kelley who managed to hop over the line to secure Minford’s first touchdown off of a quarterback sneak, and the first quarter came to a close with Minford at the point, 7-6.
The second quarter started off with a massive bang; or rather a massive screech from the crowd of Falcons. At 11:44 in the quarter, just seconds after it began, Kelley threw a pass to Darius Jordan to put Minford ahead, 14-6.
Valley, however, answered right back with a big play of its own. With only four minutes left in the quarter, the tense fight for middle ground was broken by a stride made once again by Andrew Shope, who snuck in ascoring the Indians yet another touchdown to cut the lead to 14-12.
However, the ensuing two-point play was shut down by the Falcons’ Luke Lindamood, and, after the display shown by the Indians, Kelley and Jordan came right back as the former found the latter for a score through the air, with Jordan creeping through the corner of Valley’s defense for a touchdown with only a minute and seven seconds to go to put Minford in front, 21-12, at halftime.
Once again, the Falcons proved their worth immediately in the second half, with Kelley immediately finding Tyler Miller just seconds following the second half kickoff to increase the lead to a 28-12 tally.
As the quarter went on, it quickly became laundry day on the field as more and more flags were being thrown on calls for both sides, some in favor of one and in favor of the other.
Even though Minford had a chance to put the game out of reach, Valley, even playing from behind, managed to stay in the gas as Streeter intercepted a pass from Kelley to give the Indians life. After a deep pass from Shope to Tanner Cunningham, Streeter’s fellow backfield running mate, Kayden Mollette, scored off of a Shope pass. Streeter then ran in the two-point conversion as Valley immediately cut the lead down to single digits in a blink of an eye.
During the final quarter of play, both teams continued to go back and forth as another touchdown toss from Kelley was followed by a rushing touchdown from Mollette, which closed the gap to a 35-27 margin late in the going.
But with the game on the line, it was Minford who would put the final nail in the coffin, as Tilley ended the game like he started it when the senior caught a Kelley pass and took it the distance to close out the scoring and give the Falcons the win.
With the victory, Minford, who defeated Valley by a 7-0 count in 2010 in its last victory over the Indians, finished the year with a 4-6 mark and a 1-3 mark in SOC II action. Valley finished the year 3-7 overall and 0-4 in conference play.