The Pleasant Valley Raiders ended a 17-game run of losses in region play with a resounding 37-0 homecoming win over Glencoe last Friday. The Yellow Jackets had started the Raiders’ region losing streak with a 56-0 win on Oct. 24, 2014. Two years ago, Glencoe won 48-8 and took last year’s game 31-6.
Pleasant Valley head coach Jonathan Nix credited Friday’s turnaround to the character of his players and the determination of his coaching staff to keeping working to put together four quarters of winning football. He said the win over Glencoe began in the off week that followed the Piedmont game when the Raiders worked on improving themselves.
“Get line up the right way, pay attention to detail and once you get lined up, do what you do best which is pursue the ball,” was the message during that week of practice, Nix said. “It really went a long way with them about having confidence to go out there and do their tasks.”
Following an exchange of punts at the start of the Glencoe contest, the Raiders began a 72-yard scoring drive that Ethan Borders capped with a 45-yard run. The first of three consecutive extra points by Matisse Miller made it 7-0 with 3:36 to play in the first quarter.
The Raiders’ defense halted the ensuing Glencoe possession on downs at the Pleasant Valley 22-yard line. Nine plays later, Borders scored again on a 2-yard run. A 35-yard pass completion from Brody Phillips to Caden Turner took the ball to the 2. At the half, the Raiders led 14-0.
Glencoe punted to start the third quarter and Miller connected on a 22-yard field goal to push his team ahead 17-0. Nic Smith intercepted a Glencoe pass near the Glencoe 32 and returned it 25 yards. A personal foul penalty moved the ball to the Glencoe 3 and Borders scored his third touchdown of the game from there.
Again, the Raiders’ defense forced a punt. Colton East finished off a 52-yard drive with a 33-yard scoring run. This time, JohnAnthony Kritlow booted the extra point for a 31-0 advantage. Pleasant Valley’s final touchdown was set up by a fumble recovery by Smith at the Glencoe 31. Reagan King’s 9-yard run set the final score.
Smith also forced a fumble that was recovered by Dalton Mize. Randall Purdy added a late fumble recovery.
The Raiders finished with 338 yards of total offense, 276 yards on the ground. King led with 97 yards on seven carries. East ran 13 times for 89 yards and Borders ended with 86 yards on 12 tries.
Phillips was 5-for-7 throwing for 62 yards. Turner finished with two catches for 41 yards and Dakota Parr added two receptions for 26 yards.
Linebacker Alex Parris led the defensive effort with 11 tackles. East made eight stops. Colby Nelson was credited with five and one-half tackles and Smith had five. Nelson, East and Parris each made one tackle for lost yards. Dalton Page made one and one-half quarterback sacks as the Raiders made life hard for Glencoe quarterback Jakeb Amberson.
The Raiders entertain Randolph County, currently second in the region, on Friday. Nix described the Tigers as “very talented” with a lot of speed and athleticism. The Raiders need to believe in the game plan and execute it, he said.
“To me, it’s either one of two things,” Nix said. “Either you’re being complacent or consistent. That’s what we want to do moving forward. We’ve got to have more consistency, no complacency. Yesterday was yesterday. It’s a new day because in this region you’re a week away from humility.”