Dale, Knights get their offense going
HOUTZDALE — Fortuitous timing on an improvised kickoff return meant it was time for Jon Dale to get going.
Time for Moshannon Valley’s first win of the season.
Dale, the Black Knights’ fireplug junior running back, rushed for 153 yards and a touchdown behind his huge offensive line, as Mo Valley’s to-this-point struggling offense finally took off in a 20-3 win over visiting Everett in Inter-County Conference action on Friday night at CNB Bank Stadium.
The win was the first in three starts this season for the Knights, who only had scored six points total entering the contest.
“I think most of it was from us feeding off of each other,” Dale said. “In the first two games, we weren’t doing much. Someone got a hit, and that caused us to get fired up. That’s what got us to getting big yardage, big stops, big gains and the ‘tuddies’ (touchdowns).”
Dale had 130 yards by halftime on 17 carries, getting the Knights on the board just 6 seconds into the second quarter on a 3-yard run. Max Demko and Jake Matchock added second-quarter touchdowns of 8 and 7 yards, hiking Mo Valley’s advantage to 20-3 by intermission — that wound up being the final.
Dale came up 1 yard short of matching the Knights’ combined rushing total in losses to Northern Bedford and Southern Huntingdon. Matchock added 57 yards on the ground, as the Knights finished with 222.
“We were making a lot of bigger holes tonight, and I was looking to fill them,” said the compact, 5-foot-10, 175-pound Dale, who was running behind the likes of 6-4, 295-pound sophomore Alex Capitos.
The pivotal point in the game came late in the first quarter. A promising Knights’ opening drive was thwarted when a shotgun snap over Matchock’s head that was recovered by the Warriors’ Robert Young at the Mo Valley 30. A 33-yard pass from Macen Akers to Hunter Browning got Everett to the 2. Mo Valley held, though, and the Warriors had to settle for a 28-yard Brady Foor field goal 9:20 into the game.
Joe Bacher let the ensuing kickoff bounce, then took a big risk by picking it up at the 1. The move actually threw the timing off to the Moshannon Valley return man’s advantage — he took the kick back 47 yards.
Mo Valley drove to take the lead on Dale’s touchdown, and the Knights’ next two drives ended in six, as well.
“That just showed us, if something goes wrong, you never give up. You keep fighting, and that’s what Joe did,” Matchock said. “That gave us firepower that, no matter how down you get, you can come back from anything.”
The Warriors, coming off a 35-34 win over Tussey Mountain, dipped to 1-2 overall and 1-1 in ICC play. Everett quarterback Macen Akers passed for 172 yards, but he was running for his life much of the game as Mo Valley’s much bigger line controlled scrimmage.
“They just manhandled us all over the field,” Everett coach Winston Redman said. “They were better than us up front. Our youth showed. We just weren’t the same ballclub we were last week.”
Everett rushed for 288 yards against Tussey Mountain. Because of seven sacks, the Warriors finished with minus-31 against Mo Valley.
“We dominated the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball,” Knights coach Michael Keith said. “I told the defense if we stop (Akers), we stop them. He got away from us a few times, but, for the most part, we hemmed him in.”
“This is huge,” Matchock said. “We needed to do this for the Valley.”
Game notes: The Knights are 1-1 in conference. … Everett hosts undefeated Bellwood-Antis next Friday, while Mo Valley travels to Claysburg-Kimmel. … Basket raffles were held benefitting Hurricane Harvey relief and the Moshannon Valley YMCA. … Among those in attendance was former Knight Connor Holobinko. Holobinko is at Penn State as a football walk-on but is sitting out this season recovering from a knee injury sustained in the Altoona Mirror Basketball Classic.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Everett 3 0 0 0 — 3
Moshannon Valley 0 20 0 0 — 20
E–Foor 28 FG, 2:40.
MV–Dale 3 run (kick failed), 11:54.
MV–Demko 8 run (run failed), 9:23.
MV–Matchock 7 run (Dale run), 3:05.
RUSHING: Everett–Brown 4-2, Mellott 2-4, Akers 20-(-37). Moshannon Valley–Dale 26-153, Matchock 14-57, Bacher 3-21, Demko 2-13, TEAM 1-(-22).
PASSING: Everett–Akers 10-13-1-172. Moshannon Valley–Matchock 2-2-0-19.
RECEIVING: Everett–Brown 3-46, Browning 5-92, Mellott 1-34, Mills 1-0. Moshannon Valley–Demko 1-13, Hamilton 1-6.
INTERCEPTIONS: Everett–none. Moshannon Valley–Dale.
TEAM STATISTICS E MV
First downs 7 14
Rushes-yards 26-(-31) 46-222
Passing (comp.-att.-int.) 10-13-1 2-2-0
Yards passing 172 19
Total yards 141 241
Fumbles-lost 2-1 3-1
Penalties-yards 1-15 4-22
Punts-avg. 1-34.0 2-26.0