BARNESVILLE — A trio of Spencer Bliss touchdown receptions and a second half filled with penalties cost the Valley Indians a shot at a second road win this postseason.
Barnesville quarterback Ayden Hannahs had five total touchdowns — two on the ground and three through the air — helping guide the Shamrocks to a 40-14 win over the visiting Indians in a Division VI, Region 23 quarterfinal contest at Shamrocks Stadium.
The Shamrocks scored four total second half touchdowns as higher-seeded home opponent — halting Valley from advancing back to the regional semifinals for the first time since 2015.
At halftime, Valley trailed Barnesville 12-7 after making a key stop with the Shamrocks threatening into their own territory.
However, Barnesville made the most off a Valley interception after receiving the second-half kickoff — scoring 21 unanswered points by the 4:56 mark of the fourth to seal the Indians’ fate.
“We missed opportunities with untimely penalties and costly turnovers,” Crabtree said. “And we still had opportunities going into the fourth quarter where we were still in the ballgame. Our kids played hard, like the way our kids battled back this whole season and tonight.”
In total, Valley was penalized 16 times for 128 yards, most of which came on unsportsmanlike conduct penalties or false starts.
Valley took its only lead of the game at the 10:42 mark of the second quarter at 7-6 — via a one-yard touchdown run by George Arnett followed by Chase Ruby’s point-after.
Scoring receptions of 32 and 50 yards by Bliss from Ayden Hannahs put the Shamrocks ahead of Valley by two scores by the 8:02 mark of the third.
Prior to the 50-yard score, the Indians drove all-the-way down to the Barnesville 12-yard-line before a Carter Nickel interception on a fourth-and-15 pass into the end zone — negating Valley’s chance to re-take the lead.
Crabtree said his team’s focus coming out of halftime was continuing to establish the run and trying to keep the game within arm’s reach.
“We made some adjustments in our running game to start the third, first couple of plays picked up a few first downs with Arnett,” Crabtree said. “Had the turnover near the end zone, took points off the scoreboard for us because we didn’t score when we had that opportunity. Gave up a couple big plays, but it’s a 19-7 game for a long time.”
Following Bliss’s third touchdown grab to make it 33-7, Valley’s Ty Perkins took the ensuing kickoff 80 yards for a touchdown to make it 33-14 Shamrocks.
Valley picked up nine first downs to Barnesville’s 17, with the Shamrocks also winning the takeaway battle 3-2.
The Indians graduate six seniors from their 2020 squad which finished their season 4-5 — Andrew Andronis, Nick Bowles, Nick Mowery, Blake Wood, Austin McIntosh and Devin Wiley.
Andronis was the Indians’ starting quarterback for their first two games of the season, but was sidelined the final seven due to a back injury.
Bowles and Wood anchored the Indians’ defensive end positions, combining for five tackles in Saturday’s season-ending defeat.
Wiley led the Indians with a team-high seven tackles, while both Mowery and McIntosh saw significant playing time in their trip to Belmont County.
“From where we were a few weeks ago at 1-4 to 4-4 coming into tonight, it says a lot about how hard they’ve worked and all they’ve accomplished,” Crabtree said. “We’re going to miss our six seniors.”
Valley returns the majority of this year’s roster heading into the 2021 season — a fact that has Crabtree hopeful for what his team’s future success might hold.
“Young kids we have got a lot of experience and played extremely well for us,” Crabtree said. “The momentum of this season hopefully pushes us into the weight room more this winter, pushes us to get better — I think our future’s very bright.”
Barnesville advances to the Division VI, Region 23 semifinals for a game against No. 1-seed Fort Frye on Saturday, Oct. 31.
Barnesville 40, Valley 14
Valley 0 7 0 7 — 14
Barnesville 6 6 14 14 — 40
B — Ayden Hannahs, 1-yard run (Two-point failed), 2:40 1Q (6-0 B)
V — George Arnett, 3-yard run (Chase Ruby kick), 10:42 2Q (7-6 V)
B — Spencer Bliss, 32-yard pass from Ayden Hannahs (Two-point failed), 6:57 2Q (12-7 B)
B — Spencer Bliss, 50-yard pass from Ayden Hannahs (Gavin Carpenter kick), 8:02 3Q (19-7 B)
B — Ayden Hannahs, 1-yard run (Gavin Carpenter kick), :53.1 3Q (26-7 B)
B — Spencer Bliss, 7-yard pass from Ayden Hannahs (Gavin Carpenter kick), 4:56 4Q (33-7 B)
V — Ty Perkins, 80-yard kickoff return (Chase Ruby kick), 4:55 4Q (33-14 B)
B — Gage Hannahs, 51-yard run (Gavin Carpenter kick), 3:44 4Q (40-14 B)
|Yards (Pass-Rush)||176 (48-128)||351 (167-189)|
|Time of Possession||27:00||21:00|
|Penalties||16 for 128 yards||4 for 25 yards|
RUSHING — Valley: George Arnett 23-95 TD, Carter Nickel 15-33, Colton Buckle 1-1, Cody Metzler 2-(-1); Barnesville: Gage Hannahs 16-117 TD, Ayden Hannahs 9-49 2TDs, Jake Boulet 3-14, Cameron Woods 2-6, Gavin Carpenter 2-3
PASSING — Valley: Carter Nickel 3-8-2-48; Barnesville: Ayden Hannahs 12-17-0-167 3TDs
RECEIVING — Valley: Ty Perkins 2-52, George Arnett 1-(-4); Barnesville: Spencer Bliss 5-108 3TDs, A.J. Dettling 4-57, Gage Hannahs 2-7, Jake Boulet 1-(-5)
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2020 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved