MIDVALE — The Indian Valley fight song never sounded sweeter then it did Saturday night. And all for good reasons.
The Braves earned their most hard-fought victory of the season, tested from the very start but they had enough to take down John Glenn 16-14 in a Division IV regional quarterfinal playoff game at Kelley Field.
The Braves (10-1) face Licking Valley (8-3), who beat Gallia Academy 36-12 in another regional quarterfinal Saturday at Gallia Academy. The regional semifinal will be played next Saturday at 7 p.m. at a site to be determined.
Licking Valley is coached by former Indian Valley North head coach Randy Baughman.
During the regular season the Braves played the second half with a running clock seven times and other then losing to Ridgewood, Indian Valley wasn’t challenged.
That changed Saturday when John Glenn held the Braves scoreless for the first two and a half quarters and dominating line play. The Little Muskies also targeted Indian Valley’s standout running back Caden Hostetler, limiting him to his worst game of the season.
The game was scoreless after one quarter and also at halftime as both teams had trouble gaining traction with their running games in sloppy field conditions from rain.
With 5:19 to go in the third quarter, Parker Zachrich scored on a 22-yard run and Score Perkins added the point after kick to give the visitors a 7-0 lead.
Good teams have great football coaches, and Braves head coach Matt Lancaster qualifies for that category. Lancaster made some adjustments in the second half for his team to make plays.
With 35 seconds remaining in the third quarter, Braves quarterback Cade Williams scrambled in from 7 yards out for a touchdown. Williams ran in the two-point conversion for an 8-7 lead.
Indian Valley increased its lead to 16-7 when Williams rambled 57 yards for the score, and also ran in the two-point conversion for what proved to be the winning points.
John Glenn countered with another touchdown by Zachrich, punching it in from 1 yard out. Perkins kicked the PAT to pull the visitors to within 16-14 with 5:17 left in the contest.
Indian Valley went for it on 4th-and-1 at the Braves’ 35-yardline, but failed and gave the ball to John Glenn with three minutes to go in the game and timeouts remaining. But, the Little Muskies fumbled the ball away and Tanner Myers recovered it at his own 22 with 50 seconds remaining and the Braves ran out the clock for the victory.
It was the second time in the contest that the hosts went for it on 4th-and-1, but the first try early in the game was successful.