A-K Valley football notebook: Valley breaks through with 1st victory

Saturday, September 14, 2019 | 5:55 PM

After an 0-3 start in which it was outscored by 80 points and shut out twice, the Valley football team broke through Friday with a 22-6 home victory over Imani Christian.

The Vikings trailed 6-0 at halftime, and three first-half turnovers deep in Saints territory snuffed out scoring opportunities.

“I told the guys at halftime that they can play with anybody,” Valley coach Muzzy Colosimo said. “We continually say, ‘If you want the game, take it,’ and they came out in the second half and played the way I know they can play.”

Senior Ricardo Simmons returned a punt inside the Imani 5 early in the third quarter, and senior Vaun Ross followed with a short touchdown run. Senior Michael Odrey’s first of two point-after kicks gave the Vikings the lead for good at 7-6.

Simmons and junior Justin Hooper added TD runs, and freshman Jayden Richter recorded a safety with a sack in the end zone.

The Valley win leaves four Alle-Kiski Valley teams — Freeport, Fox Chapel, Highlands and Riverview — still searching for their first victories of the season.

Ground and pound

Burrell is known for its run-and-shoot style of offense that highlights the passing game. But for its 43-0 win Friday at Uniontown, it was more run than shoot.

Windy conditions made passing and kicking a challenge, and Burrell kept it on the ground for most of the game.

Mikey Scherer led the way with 175 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries, and Ian Durci and Trent Valovchik added rushing scores on sweeps.

But the passing game wasn’t shut out. Alex Aldridge completed three of five passes, and two of the three went for touchdowns to Logan Phillips and Zach Miller.

Seth Fischbach also returned a punt 70 yards for a score.

Crise leaves game

Highlands standout senior wide receiver and linebacker Johnny Crise left Friday’s Northwest 8 game with rival Knoch in the third quarter after helmet contact while making a tackle.

After treatment on the field, Crise walked to the bench under his own power and went through additional examination protocols.

“There was an issue with contact to the head, and we wanted to be extra cautious and make sure he was all right,” Highlands coach Dom Girardi said.

Girardi said Crise was doing well Saturday morning.

“It’s still too early to determine his status moving forward,” he said. “We will take a wait-and-see approach. We should probably know more by mid-week, and we’ll go from there.”

Quick hits

• With six touchdowns in Friday’s three-overtime loss to Greensburg Central Catholic, senior running back Jake Blumer leads the Leechburg offense with four rushing and four receiving scores on the season.

• Deer Lakes quarterback Aris Hasley surpassed 1,200 passing yards for the season and has 14 touchdowns through the air after a 411-yard, five-score effort in Friday’s 61-30 win at Yough. His main targets were Jack Hollobaugh (173 yards), Trey Darrah (148 yards, 2 TDs) and Adam Rejniak (68 yards, 3 TDs).

• Plum quarterback Jake Miller threw for 161 yards and four touchdowns as the Mustangs earned a 49-14 Big East Conference (5A) win over Connellsville. Billy Guzzi added 136 yards rushing and caught a touchdown pass.

• The Kiski Area rushing attack totaled 245 yards Friday in its 36-17 win at Fox Chapel. That mark was 68 yards above what it averaged (177.7) through the first three weeks. Kenny Blake (150 yards, three TDs) and Luke Lander (68 yards, TD) led the way for the Cavaliers.

Coming attractions

Apollo-Ridge at Avonworth

7 p.m. Friday: First place is on the line in the Class 2A Allegheny Conference when then Vikings (4-0, 2-0) and Antelopes (4-0, 2-0) clash. Avonworth won last year’s meeting 42-6.

Mt. Pleasant at Deer Lakes

7 p.m. Friday: The Lancers hope to make it three straight wins in Class 3A Big East play and keep pace for one of the four WPIAL playoff spots from the conference.

Tweet of the week

“It hurts like crazy but it shows what type of guys we have on this team. If you beat us you’re going to have to beat us down until the 48th minute.”

— Leechburg quarterback Dylan Cook (@dylan_cookkkk) after their 42-41, three-overtime loss to Greensburg C.C.

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at mlove@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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