HOPKINS, Mo. – With both teams suffering Week 2 losses, Nodaway Valley and Platte Valley looked to turn the tides in the ‘Battle for the Valley.’
After COVID-19 quarantines put a damper on the starting lineup for Platte Valley last week, it was clear and evident that they were all back and ready to go Friday night in Hopkins.
“Well, it was huge, because it was most of our offense and our defense that was out last week,” Platte Valley coach Johnnie Silkett said. “It made the difference in this game, without our starting crew, obviously, it would have been a tough, uphill battle for us.”
Fortunately, for Platte Valley, it was not an uphill battle whatsoever, as they knocked off Nodaway Valley 54-26.
To kick the game off, Nodaway Valley showed great poise on a long nine-play drive that was eventually capped off by a 30-yard touchdown reception for Nodaway Valley’s Michael Cook on Gavin Leeper’s halfback pass.
Platte Valley wasted no time offering a response on their first drive of the ballgame. A heavy dose of handing the ball off to junior standout Carter Luke setup Platte Valley in great scoring position. From 13 yards out, sophomore quarterback Aydan Blackford found Wyatt Tobin for Platte Valley’s first score of the night.
“Well, we were off for a week because of quarantine so we had to focus on getting back into rhythm,” Blackford said. “Coach Silkett has always preached to me to just be an athlete, because in practice, I force throws for no reason. So, tonight, I actually read the field and ran the ball whenever I needed to.”
Following punts from both teams, Platte Valley’s third drive seemed to be quite familiar. Hand the ball off to Luke. On his third run of the drive, Luke punched it in from 2-yards out to give Platte Valley a 12-6 advantage early in the second quarter.
Nodaway Valley had an answer. That answer included an 8-play drive that was finished off with a 20-yard sprint to the end zone for sophomore running back Clay Hanson. The score was all knotted up at 12 apiece.
On the ensuing possession, Blackford and Platte Valley showed that they were just getting started. After a pair of handoffs to Luke, Blackford found senior fullback Hayden Ferry wide open, and he did the rest. After catching the ball, Ferry outlasted the Nodaway Valley defense for a 46-yard catch and score.
“They were sending in everyone to stop our run game, so they were vulnerable on the play action bootleg,” Silkett said. “Aydan was throwing over the top of people and he made some great decisions to run.”
Late in the second quarter, Platte Valley was able to turn over Nodaway Valley after sophomore Brandon McQueen was able to pick off Nodaway Valley’s quarterback Brandon Bohannon.
Following the turnover, it was back to work for Blackford and the offense. Showing off his ability to keep extending plays, Blackford rolled out right and then cut it back left for a 12-yard touchdown run. Blackford seemed to have utilized all aspects of his game in this one, putting Platte Valley up 36-12 with 46 seconds left in the first half.
The second half saw Platte Valley junior, Jaxon McCrary, do a little bit of everything. After recording his third sack of the night in the third quarter, McCrary was needed at fullback after Ferry was sidelined with what seemed to be cramping.
On the 15-yard line, Blackford handed the ball off to McCrary who showed nothing but effort and determination as he shed off multiple tacklers on his way to the endzone. McCrary’s score gave Platte Valley a 48-26 advantage with 9:35 left in the fourth quarter.
“I was just trying to win and do it the right way,” McCrary said. “Going from last year to this year, this win was awesome. This win gives us a lot of momentum heading into next week.”
Platte Valley will travel next week to South Holt while Nodaway Valley will host Rock Port.