The Spring Valley Vikings came back from a 12-7 halftime deficit to knock off the Richland Northeast Cavaliers 21-12 Friday, September 16.
“I think the biggest thing is we have to eliminate mistakes. We are a young team,” Spring Valley head coach Robin Bacon said. “ The whole year we’ve made mistakes. I think we had about eight or nine holding calls tonight. We had a couple other penalties. I told them this is a game of pride. You have to go out there and have fun, get after these guys, and do what you’ve got to do. We did. We’re really growing. I’m so proud of the resiliency and the fight that we showed.”
It was the first meeting between the two rivals since 2019.
Richland Northeast received the opening kickoff and moved the ball to the Spring Valley 32. The big play in the drive was a 29-yard pass from William Wilson to Zahmir Khalid. However, a series of penalties and short passes stalled the drive, forcing the Cavaliers to punt.
Spring Valley began at its 20 and provided a consistent dose of Zion Fuller and Evan Javis on the ground, moving the ball to the Richland Northeast 36. A penalty against the Cavaliers put it on the 31. From there, the Vikings went back to Fuller, who had six carries for 40 yards. The final yard put Spring Valley into the end zone for a 7-0 lead at the start of the second quarter.
Later in the quarter, Richland Northeast began a possession at its 39. An 8-yard gain by Avonte Grant and a penalty by the Cavaliers had the ball at the Richland Northeast 35 for a 2nd-and-14. Wilson then ran for 20 yards to move the ball into Spring Valley territory. A 10-yard pass from Wilson to Khalid and an 11-yard run by James Willingham got the ball to the red zone. Two plays later, Wilson found Philippe Enosh for a 20-yard touchdown. The extra point was no good, leaving the Vikings ahead 7-6.
The next Richland Northeast possession began at the Cavaliers’ 42. Wilson had runs of 4 and 9 yards to get to the Spring Valley 45. Then he launched a pass down the left sideline to Blake Betette for 32 yards to the Vikings’ 13. Two plays later, Wilson plowed in from a yard out to give Richland Northeast a 12-7 halftime lead.
On its first possession of the third quarter, Spring Valley got an 11-yard run from Aden Jones. Then Fuller got runs of 13 and 33 yards to move the ball to the Richland Northeast 16. Javis finished the drive with runs of 12 and 4 yards to get into the end zone and put the Vikings ahead 14-12.
Spring Valley added to its lead in the fourth. Following a turnover on downs, the Vikings got the ball at their 27. A penalty by the Cavaliers moved it to the 32. Then Hector Miranda scampered for a 4-yard gain. A penalty moved it back to the 31. A 5-yard pass from Jones to Kai Inge, a 6-yard run by Fuller, and a penalty by Richland Northeast got the ball out to the Cavaliers 44. Inge then had a 3-yard run, and Jones found Kendall Williams for a 21-yard pickup to the red zone. Fuller carried the ball the next three plays, totaling 15 yards. Javis capped off the drive with a 5-yard touchdown run. The extra point gave Spring Valley the 21-12 lead.
Jones completed 4-of-7 passes for 73 yards.
Fuller rushed for 173 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries. Javis rushed for 40 yards and two touchdowns on nine carries.
“They’re studs. We’ll go with those guys every time because I know when they get the ball good things are going to happen,” Bacon said. “The nice thing is they are really good friends. They’ll block for each together. I challenged the offensive line because they did not block well last week. They got after it today, and there were some big holes for our guys to run through. I’m really proud of the offensive line.”
Kendall Williams had two receptions for 61 yards.
The win improves Spring Valley’s record to 2-3. The Vikings have the next week off before hosting Rock Hill on Friday, September 30.
“ We’re a whole lot better than we were in week one,” Bacon said. “We’re young, but they are fighting. We’re starting to execute like we need to. We start off with Rock Hill. They come to our place. They have a great quarterback. We have two weeks to get better. We’re getting better every week. I’m proud of these guys.”
Wilson completed 12-of-20 passes for 170 yards and one touchdown for RNE. He also ran for 47 yards and one touchdown on eight carries.
Willingham rushed for 18 yards on seven carries.
Jean-Philippe had five catches for 61 yards and one touchdown.
Richland Northeast falls to 1-3. The Cavaliers travel to Nation Ford Friday, September 23.