Quaker Valley shuts out Central Valley in matchup of top 5 teams

Saturday, September 23, 2017 | 12:33 AM

Quaker Valley and Central Valley each rolled into their Beaver Valley Conference tilt Friday night sporting 1-0 conference records. Both teams employ similar offenses that yearn to control the line of scrimmage with potent rushing attacks.

However, only one team was able to successfully charge up their runners as Class AAA No. 4-ranked Quaker Valley punished No. 2 Central Valley with its ground game and shut down the Warriors rushing attack to earn a 39-0 victory.

The Quakers (5-0, 2-0) imposed their will on offense but impressed most on defense, holding Central Valley to just 25 yards of total offense in the first half. By the end of the game, the Warriors (3-2, 1-1) collected 157 yards of offense but most of that yardage came once coach Jerry Veshio's visiting team already had the game in the bag.

“My goodness, there was talk all week about how our defense was not as good as Central Valley's, but I think we showed tonight that our defense is pretty doggone good,” Veshio said.

“To put a goose egg on the board against anybody, and I know they don't have their quarterback and my heart goes out to Nico Battisti, but our defense is nails. Their motor runs on both sides of the ball.”

As he has for most of the season, Quakers quarterback Ricky Guss sparked his team's scoring assault, rushing for 115 yards and three scores on 14 attempts. The senior also fared well throwing the ball, completing 8 of his 9 passes for 112 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

The other weapons in Quaker Valley's offense also flexed their muscle against Central Valley, with Ethan Moore amassing 148 yards and one touchdown on eight carries and Isaiah McNair taking five carries for 55 yards and a score.

While his athletes came to Central Valley to run, and did it well, Veshio was quick to credit the play of his offensive line that continuously opened up monster holes in the Warriors' defense for the Quakers' to run through.

“Those guys over here, the offensive line, they're incredible. We had a bad snap today down here late in the third quarter and honest to God, I think it was the first bad snap I've seen in five games,” Veshio said. “We executed.”

Central Valley running back Danny Santia led the way for his team's offense, tallying 48 yards on 14 attempts before exiting in the second half with an injury. The team's second running back, Anthony Mendicino also got hurt in the game, as did quarterback Jawon Hall, who took over for starting QB Nico Battisti after the all-conference performer fell to injury last week and is likely to miss the rest of the season.

It was a tough defeat all-around for coach Mark Lyons and Central Valley.

“There's no better-off scenario when you get beat 39-0,” Lyons said. “There's no good timing for that, I don't care if it's the first game, the third game, the sixth game — there's no place in your schedule to get beat like that.”

Kevin Lohman is a freelance writer.

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