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It’s lights out for Indians – literally – against Vikes

WILLIAMSTOWN — On a night when the Williams Valley school district paid tribute to its 1969 Twin Valley Conference championship squad, its 2019 Viking football team was just as sensational.

Behind the passing of junior quarterback Bryce Herb and his stellar receiving crew, which caught everything thrown their direction, Williams Valley was too much for Juniata as the Vikes throttled the Indians 49-15 in a Tri-Valley League contest.

Herb, who looked smooth in the pocket, showed excellent poise and confidence and simply picked apart the Juniata defensive secondary for five touchdown passes and 337 yards.

“He dialed it in really well tonight,” Williams Valley coach Tim Savage said. “If teams are going to pack it in and put nine guys (close to the line of scrimmage), and it comes down to Bryce making the throws — our (receivers) will beat nearly anybody in the secondary.”

And the receivers did just that.

Herb connected with four different teammates. His top targets were Jayden Cruz (four receptions, 201 yards, one touchdown) and Jesse Engle (5-74, 2 TDs). But he also hit Bo Raho four times for 53 yards and two scores.

Raho’s one-handed TD catch early in the second quarter was a head-shaker in how he was able to make the catch and get one foot down inbounds.

Senior Brady Miller gave the Vikings their first points on a 5-yard run midway through the first quarter.

Five minutes later, Herb connected on the first of his five touchdown passes, hitting Engle on a 9-yarder. The PAT kick failed and Williams Valley led 13-0 with just over two minutes remaining in the quarter.

The Indians, who had a difficult time most of the night offensively, showed heart as they quickly cut the lead to five points with Jamie Bailer’s 7-yard TD run.

The endorphin rush didn’t last long as the Vikings scored 22 straight points to take a commanding 35-8 lead into the halftime break.

“We had some difficulty running the ball tonight, so we had to throw,” Savage said.

Raho wowed the crowd with his one-handed, 7-yard grab with 10 minutes left in the second quarter.

The sequence of events seven minutes later put Juniata back on its heels.

The Indians put together a time-consuming drive moving the pigskin to the Williams Valley 38, but a fumble ended the drive.

On the very next play, Herb hit a wide-open Cruz down the middle of the field for a 63-yard touchdown pass and the momentum clearly swung to the Vikings.

“It’s a complicated pass pattern as they’re all bunched together at the line of scrimmage,” Savage explained. “There’s two double moves to the outside and as soon as the safety moved over, (Cruz) was uncovered.”

One minute later, Raho got things done on both sides of the ball.

He first intercepted a Jacob Condo pass and then hauled in his second touchdown pass of the half. This time an over-the-shoulder lob from Herb from 22 yards.

Just before the end of the third quarter, Engle caught Herb’s fifth TD pass on a 17-yard route. Four minutes later, Engle barrelled in from the 2 for the Vikings final points.

The Indians added a late touchdown when Caleb Seeger scored on a 10-yard run.

The play proved to be the game’s final play as a bank of lights on visitor side lost power. Almost 10 minutes later, officials and coaches decided to end the contest with 6:20 left in the game.

Williams Valley 49, Juniata 15

SCORE BY QUARTERS

Juniata 8 0 0 7–15

Williams Valley 13 22 7 7–49

First Quarter

WV–Miller 5 run (Ferron kick)

WV– Engle 9 pass from Herb (kick failed)

J — Bailer 7 run (Seeger run)

Second Quarter

WV– Raho 7 pass from Herb (Herb run)

WV– Cruz 63 pass from Herb (Ferron kick)

WV — Raho 22 pass from Herb (Ferron kick)

Third Quarter

WV– Engle 17 pass from Herb (Ferron kick)

Fourth Quarter

WV– Engle 2 run (ferron kick)

J– Seeger 10 run (Shellenberger kick)

TEAM STATISTICS

J WV

First downs 7 18

Total yards 200 464

Rushes-yards 33-164 30-127

Yards passing 36 337

Passing (comp.-att.-int.) 2-12-1 14-20-1

Punts-avg.

Fumbles-lost 3-2 0-0

Penalties-yards 5-50 6-45

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING: J– Seeger 7-62 TD, Bailer 7-40 TD, Condo 8-30, Martin 4-14, Kint 2-12, White 5-6; WV– Miller 23-124 TD, Engle 5-8 TD, Joseph 1-7, Herb 1(-12).

PASSING: J– Condo 2-12-1-36; WV– Herb 14-20-1-337.

RECEIVING: J– White 1-32, O’Donell 1-4; WV– Cruz 4-201 TD, Engle 5-74 2 TD, Raho 4-53 2 TD, Miller 1-9.

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