MIDVALE -- The Indian Valley Braves honored their senior athletes with a win a Friday night against the Tusky Valley Trojans as strong second quarter led the Braves to a 35-7 victory.
"I thought our kids played hard," said Indian Valley head coach Matt Lancaster, whose team fashioned an 8-2 regular season mark. "We started a little slow, but they played hard the whole way though. There was some slipping around on both sides in the first quarter, but once we got our feet under us, we were able to do what we wanted to do in the running game."
The wet grass certainly affected both teams in the first quarter, with runners from both Tusky Valley and Indian Valley going down before being hit by defenders.
The slippery field kept both teams scoreless in the first quarter, but Indian Valley went into the second quarter at second-and-six on the Trojans' 17.
Senior Kyle Contini put the Braves on the scoreboard on the second play of the quarter, following a 16-yard rush by senior Kyle Davis. The one-yard touchdown carry by Contini, along with a successful extra-point kick by junior Ross Love, gave Indian Valley the initial advantage at 7-0 with 11:30 remaining in the half.
Senior Caden McGuire snagged an interception from Tusky Valley quarterback Dylan Vaughan on the Trojans' next possession.
The Braves took advantage of the opportunity, driving quickly down the field for another Indian Valley touchdown, with senior Will Love making the final four-yard carry. Another PAT kick from Ross Love doubled Indian Valley's lead at 14-0 with 8:54 left in the half.
After forcing Tusky Valley's next drive to a swift halt, the Braves took over at their 35 and the 65-yard drive ended with a one yard touchdown run from Davis. Ross Love's PAT kick took Indian Valley to 21-0 with 3:38 to play in the second quarter.
The Braves stopped the Tusky Valley offense once more and took possession at their 23.
IV completed the 77-yard drive in just five plays when Ross Love grabbed a pass from McGuire for a 38-yard touchdown reception. Love also made the extra-point kick, bringing the score to 28-0 with just 1:06 left in the half.
Indian Valley received the second half kickoff, taking over play at its 29. The drive consisted of seven plays, all carried by Davis. An 11-yard rush put Davis back in the end zone with 9:19 left in the third quarter. Sophomore Joshua Thornton made the PAT kick this time to give the Braves a 35-0 advantage.
The Braves drove to the Trojans' three on their next drive, but failed to get the touchdown after giving up a fumble to the Tusky Valley defense.
The Trojans (0-10) found their way onto the scoreboard with 2:48 left in the fourth quarter when Seth Johnson ran three yards for a touchdown. Tyler Burrier made the PAT kick to close the score gap to 35-7, but IV ran out the clock.
Indian Valley dominated the field in rushing, totalling 467 yards on 58 carries. Davis led the team with 28 carries for an unofficial total of 305 yards, setting a school record for rushing yards in a single game. Brandon Ledbetter carried eight times for 63 yards, and Brady Cotsmire ran three times for 51 yards. Ross Love gained 32 yards in two attempts.
Davis' performance put him over 2,000 yards for the season, an accomplishment Coach Lancaster attributed in no small part to the Braves' offensive line. The yardage also pushes Davis' career total to 6,900 yards, which elevates him into sixth place on the OHSAA's all-time rushing list.
McGuire was 2-for-2 in passing for 41 yards and Ross Love made both catches.
The Tusky Valley offense had 29 rushes for a total of 110 yards. Taylor Stahlman led the pack with 59 yards over nine carries, and Cody Cantrell ran once for 27 yards. Johnson netted 13 yards on four rushes.
Vaughan went 5-of-8 in passing for 29 yards.
"I think our defense has been the strength of our team all year," said coach Lancaster. "They definitely came out and played well again tonight.
"We finished the regular season 8-2, and we're still hoping for a shot at the playoffs," he added.
The Braves entered the final weekend as one of five teams in the running for the last three of the eight spots in Division IV, Region 13, but it appeared they would be the odd man out and finish in ninth place in the region.
INDIAN VALLEY 35, TUSKY VALLEY 7
Tusky Valley 0 007 - 7
Indian Valley02870 - 35
IV-Kyle Contini 1 run (Ross Love kick), 11:30.
IV-Will Love 4 run (R. Love kick), 8:54.
IV-Jake Davis 1 run (R. Love kick), 3:38.
IV-R. Love 38 pass from Caden McGuire (R. Love kick), 1:06.
IV-Davis 11 run (Joshua Thornton kick), 9:19.
TV-Seth Johnson 3 run (Tyler Burrier kick), 2:48.
RUSHING-Tusky Valley, Taylor Stahlman, 9-59; Cody Cantrell, 1-27; Johnson, 4-13; Kodey Lewis, 3-9; Dylan Vaughan, 4-6; Peter Hopwood, 1-3; Nolan Wolf, 5-2; Jacob Arrendale, 1-0; Gabriel Shetler, 1-(-9). Indian Valley, Davis, 28-305; Brandon Ledbetter, 8-63; Brady Cotsmire, 3-51; R. Love, 2-32; Jarrett Swinderman, 7-19; W. Love, 2-14; Contini, 1-1; Tyler Feutz, 1-1; Brennan O'Connor, 1-1; McGuire, 5-(-20).
PASSING-Tusky Valley, Vaughan, 5-8-1-29. Indian Valley, McGuire, 2-2-0-41.
RECEIVING-Tusky Valley, Burrier, 1-16; Jordan Felgenhauer, 1-12; Arrendale, 1-2; Wolf, 1-0; Cantrell, 1-(-1). Indian Valley, R. Love, 2-41.
INTERCEPTIONS-Tusky Valley, none. Indian Valley, McGuire.
KICKOFF RETURNS-Tusky Valley, Garrett Strand, 1-18; Tristen Anderson, 1-14; Cantrell, 1-12; Shetler, 1-7; Burrier 1-4. Indian Valley, Therron Stocker, 1-20; Cotsmire, 1-19.
PUNT RETURNS-Tusky Valley, none. Indian Valley, none.