ASHVILLE — With control of the Mid-State League Buckeye Division title on the line, Teays Valley capitalized off the game’s only turnover to defeat Amanda-Clearcreek 28-21 Friday night.
With the game tied at 21-21 late in the third quarter, the Aces (7-2, 4-1) had stopped the Vikings on downs to get the ball at the AC 31-yard line. The next play was headed for an AC first down but the ball was stripped and TV’s Eli Burgett emerged from the pile with football.
With new life, the Teays Valley (7-2, 5-0) offense used seven plays to cover the ground and Riely Weiss carried the last 11 yards for his fourth score of the night to put the Vikings on top.
“The turnovers were huge. We did say at halftime that we needed to get one or two turnovers and that was the difference maker,” TV coach Mark Weber said.
“That’s the game of football. It’s cliché, but it’s the fourth quarter in a tight game and someone is going to make a mistake and, unfortunately, we did,” AC coach Steve Daulton said. “It’s a credit to them, but you put the ball on the deck it makes it tough to win.
“It’s going to happen. I wouldn’t say we lost steam there, but with a ball-control offense like (TV), you lose a possession in a game like this with two teams who can chew up the clock and move the football on the ground, possessions are few and far between.
“When that happens in a close game like this, results usually aren’t very good.”
Weber credits the win to doing what his team does best – running the football and playing tough defense.
“We just stuck with our game plan. In the second half, we said we’re going to turn our defense loose, we’re going to run the ball right up the middle and see if they can stop it. If they’re better than us, then they can win,” he said.
The Aces were held to 21 yards in the second half on 14 plays while the Vikings added 135 yards to their total on 34 plays – 30 of them runs.
“That’s what I’ve instilled in this program is that I want to run the ball and I want to run the ball so often that people get mad that I run the ball so much,” Weber said. “That’s what you have to do to win. If you want to be really good, you have to run the ball early, you have to run the ball often and you have to punish people throughout the game so that in the fourth quarter you win by seven.
“There’s nothing wrong with winning by seven.”
The Vikings opened the game running the ball — 12 times on a drive that covered 69 yards and culminated with Weiss running in from eight yards out.
“After about the first five plays, I found out we could run in the middle,” Weber said. “Once we did that, our guys had confidence.”
AC’s Jayse Miller responded by running the ensuing kickoff back 83 yards to tie the game.
The Aces then recovered their kickoff and put together a quick drive that saw Peyton Madison run 24 yards for a score.
TV answered with a six-play drive that tied the game at 14-14 when Weiss caught a 23-yard touchdown pass from Tristan McDanel.
Getting good field position after the Aces tried a fake punt, TV covered 40 yards in six plays and Weiss scored from 10 yards out.
AC came back with an eight-play drive that finished with Jesse Connell crossing the goal line from a yard out to tie the game at 21-21.
McDanel was the game’s top rusher picking up 117 yards on 25 carries from his quarterback position and added 49 yards on a 5-9 passing effort. Weiss had 115 yards on 22 carries.
Madison led the way for the Aces with 79 yards on 17 carries.
The win puts the Vikings atop the standings as the only team without a league loss. But the last game of the regular season doesn’t present any less of a challenge for the Vikings as they head to Bloom-Carroll next week. The Bulldogs (7-2, 4-1) can force a tie for the title with a win over TV.
“We’re going for the gold ball – we don’t want to share it,” Weber said.
League hopes aren’t dashed for the Aces either. If BC can knock off the Vikings, a win by the Aces at Logan Elm next Friday would create a three-way tie for the title. The Aces also are in position for a possible home playoff game in Week 11.
“There’s still a lot to play for,” Daulton said. “Logan Elm is a local rival so it shouldn’t take any coaxing to make sure we’re coming into tomorrow morning locked in. Losing is no fun, but we’ve got to come in and get better no matter what.”
Teays Valley 28, Amanda-Clearcreek 21
Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 F
Am.-Clearcreek 14 7 0 0 21
Teays Valley 7 14 0 7 28
TV — Weiss 8 run (Clifton kick), 5:18.
AC — Miller 83 kickoff return (Weaver kick), 5:06.
AC — Madison 24 run (Weaver kick), 2:30.
TV — Weiss 23 pass from McDanel (Clifton kick), 10:50.
TV — Weiss 10 run (Clifton kick), 7:13.
AC — Connell 1 run (Weaver kick), 2:30.
TV — Weiss 11 run (Clifton kick), 9:22.
First downs 6 24
Rushing yards 29-116 55-267
Passing yards 19 49
Comp.-Att.-Int 1-3-0 5-9-0
Total yards 135 316
Fumbles-Lost 3-1 0-0
Penalties-Yards 5-53 4-25
Punts-Ave. 3-27 1-35
RUSHING – Amanda-Clearcreek — Madison 17-79, Connell 7-21, Fairchild 2-8, Miller 2-8, Stevens 1-0. Teays Valley — McDanel 25-117, Weiss 22-115, Weiler 8-35.
PASSING – Amanda-Clearcreek — Madison 1-3-0-19. Teays Valley — McDanel 5-9-0-49
RECEIVING – Amanda-Clearcreek — Banker 1-19. Teays Valley — Weiss 1-23, Knox 3-17, Hubbard 1-9.