St. Marys’ ground game too much for Valley Heights

By Joel Jellison

ST MARYS — When a little guy and a big guy get in a fight, it doesn’t always end well for the little guy.

That’s exactly what happened to Valley Heights on Friday, as the Mustangs got in a couple punches, but ultimately lost the fight against St. Marys, 42-13.

It wasn’t much of a change in the norm for the Mustangs, which lost at home to the Bears, 43-12, a year ago. Valley Heights coach Tony Trimble said his team was aware of the challenge before they took the field.

“It was tough,” he said. “We knew going into this season that they would be one of the top two teams on our schedule, so we expected them to play like that.”

The Bears (1-1) did their damage on the ground, as running back Phil Johnson ran 26 times for 260 yards and four touchdowns. St. Marys finished the game with 362 yards on the ground.

Trimble said his team has to get better defensively, looking porous for the second straight week, more so this time around. But he pointed out the size difference between the teams, and the difficulties it caused for his team.

“Part of it is our size, we get pushed around up front,” Trimble said. “We have a 135-pound freshman playing defensive tackle. He’s a very quick, very aggressive, tough kid, but sometimes it’s just not a fair matchup. I believe in our kids and they played hard.”

The same could be said for Valley Heights offensively. The Mustangs (1-1) were held to 100 rushing yards on 26 carries and fumbled the ball away twice.

Valley Heights boasted a roster of 20 available kids for Friday’s game, while St. Marys had a roster of 45.

“We’ve got 20 kids, it’s hard to practice sometimes,” Trimble said. “We aren’t making excuses for that. We started a couple freshmen on our offensive line and it averages like 150 pounds up front. Those kids play hard and they play with a lot of heart. As long as they keep working hard to get better every day, I see that we can do some things as the season progresses.”

St. Marys opened the game with a kickoff return to the 50, followed by a 19-yard run. A few plays later, Johnson scored from 9 yards out to take a 6-0 lead.

The Mustangs answered by taking their only lead of the game. Logan Woodyard recovered a fumble and turned a broken play for 27 yards. Valley Heights would score on a 19-yard run by Cole Maddox, who appeared to be tackled, but popped up off a pile and ran into the end zone, putting the Mustangs ahead 7-6.

St. Marys capped the first quarter with a 13-yard run by TJ Walsh to go ahead 12-7. Johnson scored a pair of touchdowns from 23 and 33 yards out on back-to-back drives in the second quarter to go ahead 26-7.

Valley Heights scored its final touchdown on a 56-yard run by Derek Trimble with four minutes left to pull within 13 points.

St. Marys put the game away with a pair of touchdowns in the second half. Johnson scored on a 1-yard run in the third quarter, and James Stewart hit John Homan for a 10-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter.

Trimble, whose team plays at Onaga this Friday, said his team can grow from the loss.

“I told the kids before this game,” he said. “This is a good measure of where we’re at and where we need to get better.”



Valley Heights   7   6     0   0 — 13

St. Marys   12   14   8   8 — 42

Scoring summary

First quarter

SM — Johnson 9 run (run fail), 9:36

VH — Maddox 19 run (Trimble kick), 8:26

SM — Walsh 13 run (run fail), 2:53

Second quarter

SM — Johnson 23 run (run fail), 11:53

SM — Johnson 33 run (Bleakley run), 4:24

VH — Trimble 56 run (kick blocked), 4:06

Third quarter

SM — Johnson 1 run (Stewart run), 3:46

Fourth quarter

SM — Homan 10 pass from Stewart (Bleakley run), 10:46

Individual statistics

RUSHING — Valley Heights, Trimble 6-69, Maddox 7-32, L. Woodyard 4-27, G. Woodyard 9-(-28). St. Marys, Johnson 26-260, Walsh 8-39, Bleakley 6-30, Simecka 3-23, Tyler 5-18, Rutledge 2-11, Stewart 8-5, Moser 1-2, Baumchen 3-(-6).

PASSING — Valley Heights, G. Woodyard 1-2-0 18. St. Marys, Stewart 5-9-0 55.

RECEIVING — Valley Heights, L. Woodyard 1-18. St. Marys, Schremmer 3-27, Homan 2-28.

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