Jasper helps Vikings knock off Black Knights

By Dan Isenberg

For the Mirror

HOUTZDALE — The Glendale Vikings rebounded after a rough outing against Mount Union a week ago, outrushing Moshannon Valley by 169 yards Friday in a 26-14 victory over the Black Knights.

Glendale coach Richard Braniff credited his assistants for doing an outstanding job in film study this week. The Glendale defense held the Knights to just 39 yards rushing as a team after Jon Dale’s 302-yard performance against Tussey Mountain last weekend.

Dale left the game in the third quarter with an injury and did not return.

“Film study paid off,” Braniff said. “I’ve got some really good assistant coaches. They really buckled down and studied that film. They give the kids the edge they need.”

Viking quarterback and defensive back Jacob Jasper intercepted three Jake Matchock passes, including his first attempt which Jasper returned for the game’s opening touchdown. On the whole, the Viking secondary held strong, only allowing three completions for 31 yards in the first half.

Braniff said that while Jasper is usually a player they try and reserve for the offense to keep him fresh, it was great to see him out making plays in the secondary.

“He’s an athlete,” Braniff said, “and we’re going to turn him loose. We’re going to put our athletes where they’re needed. He did a fine job.”

Braniff also singled out Colton Leyo, who not only played well on an island defensively for the Vikings but had several punt returns to set Glendale up in or close to Black Knight territory.

Matchock shook off those first-half jitters in the third quarter when he found Ethan Reed on fourth-and-17 for a 24-yard touchdown and connected on the two-point conversion to bring the Knights within one possession with the entire fourth quarter to go.

But the Viking ground game simply could not be stopped. Despite the Knights being able to capitalize on a Jasper fumble that allowed Matchock to hit Joseph Bacher for a 50-yard strike to keep things close, the ensuing attempt at an onside kick was returned well into Moshannon Valley territory before Shane McMurray found daylight and raced 29 yards for the game’s final touchdown.

McMurray finished with 147 yards on 17 carries, 13 of which came in the second half, including a 14-yard run on a fake punt to keep a drive going and help the Vikings control the time of possession.

Braniff said they’ve been working the offensive line unit hard in practice this week after several weeks of struggles on the ground, and it paid off Friday night.

“We’ve just been working the offensive line staying with their blocks,” Braniff said. “We had a little bit of happy feet earlier in the season. We’ve been preaching north-south (running). In practice, if I see anybody stutter-step, then we’ll run that play 10 to 15 more times.”

McMurray said after his big night individually and even bigger win for his team, which is now squarely in the hunt for one of the final Class A playoff spots at 3-4, the Vikings just need to keep on rolling.

“Coming off a bunch of losses, a win feels great,” McMurray said. “A win feels wonderful. That’s exactly what we need.”

Mo Valley coach Michael Keith declined to comment for this story.

SCORE BY QUARTERS

Glendale 12 0 0 14 — 26

Moshannon Valley 0 0 8 6 — 14

First quarter

G–Jasper interception return (kick failed), 10:55.

G–McMurray 14 run (run failed), 7:20.

Third quarter

MV–Reed 24 pass from Matchock (Reed pass from Matchock), 4:39.

Fourth quarter

G–Dudurich 9 run (Potutschnig kick), 7:17.

MV–Bacher 50 pass from Matchock (pass failed), 3:24.

G–McMurray 29 run (Potutschnig kick), 3:09.

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING: Glendale–Jasper 5-14, Rydbom 4-13, Dudurich 8-31, McMurray 17-147, Kuhn 1-4, Team 1-(-1). Moshannon Valley–Demko 2-(-5), Dale 19-42, Matchock 5-(-2), C. Kitko 1-2.

PASSING: Glendale–Jasper 6-16-1-60. Moshannon Valley–Matchock 14-32-3-129.

RECEIVING: Glendale–Potutschnig 3-26, Wolfe 1-8, Dudurich 1-6, Rydbom 1-20. Moshannon Valley –Dalttre, 1-11, Bacher 4-83, Reed 6-43, Demko 1-7, Warholic 2-16.

INTERCEPTIONS: Glendale–Jasper 3. Moshannon Valley–T. Kitko.

TEAM STATISTICS G MV

First downs 14 11

Rushes-yards 36-208 27-39

Passing (comp.-att.-int.) 6-16-1 14-32-3

Yards passing 60 129

Total yards 268 168

Fumbles-lost 1-1 0-0

Penalties-yards 4-30 4-20

Punts-avg. 3-22.34 6-33.67

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