Big fourth quar­ter lifts Pa­tri­ots past Ox­ford

Big fourth quar­ter lifts Pa­tri­ots past Ox­ford

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Bill Ru­dick bru­dick55@gmail.com @bru­dick55 on Twit­ter

Great Val­ley’s of­fense has been a dif­fi­cult puz­zle to solve for much of the sea­son, but lately, they have been be­set with in­juries, and seem­ingly, have as many start­ing line­men in the trainer’s room as on the field. For­tu­nately for Great Val­ley, when one guy goes down, oth­ers step up.

A hun­gry Ox­ford team came to visit with hopes of spoil­ing Home­com­ing fes­tiv­i­ties. While the Hor­nets kept Pa­tri­ots star re­ceiver Ryan Hub­ley out of the end zone (4 catches for 89 yards), oth­ers picked up the slack, and Great Val­ley posted a pair of unan­swered touch­downs in the fourth quar­ter to open up a tight game for a 31-21 Ches-Mont League Amer­i­can Divi­sion vic­tory.

“We’re so banged up on the lines right now, with four starters gone for the sea­son,” said Pa­tri­ots coach Dan Ellis. “But, these guys just kept fight­ing and fight­ing and fight­ing. Mike Means is do­ing a great job over there with Ox­ford. I know that no mat­ter what their record is, it’s a much bet­ter foot­ball team than a year ago. But this team kept fight­ing and made the plays they needed to make when they needed to make them.”

Af­ter forc­ing the Hor­nets (0-

4, 1-7) to punt on their first pos­ses­sion of the game, the Pa­tri­ots took over on their own 9-yard line, and steadily marched down the field, fin­ish­ing the five minute scor­ing drive on a 26-yard touch­down run by Mark DeRober­tis, who fin­ished the day with 54 yards and a pair of touch­downs on 12 car­ries. The run­ning back also com­pleted a cru­cial pass for 18 yards on a third-and-long to keep a drive alive.

“It’s amaz­ing how good a job the line did to­day, es­pe­cially with all the in­juries we have,” said DeRober­tis. “So many of the younger guys stepped up and played great. We knew we just needed to play the kind of game we can play, and we were go­ing to get back on the win­ning side of things.”

Ox­ford an­swered right back. Bran­don Holz put the Hor­nets in great field po­si­tion on the en­su­ing kick­off, re­turn­ing it 68 yards to the Great Val­ley 25. Two plays later, Holz ran it in from 14yards out to cut the lead to a point. The Pa­tri­ots held the lead by block­ing the point af­ter -- one of two blocked kicks on the day.

Holz had a mon­ster day in the loss, rum­bling for 146 yards on just seven at­tempts, and three scores.

“Bran­don is a real player,” said Means. “He’s just a ju­nior and he gets bet­ter and bet­ter ev­ery week, mak­ing some big plays for us lately. He’s re­ally com­ing into his own the past cou­ple weeks.”

With the Pa­tri­ots (3-2, 5-3) cling­ing to a 24-21 lead early in the fourth, they caught the first big break of the game, re­cov­er­ing a fum­ble at the Ox­ford 25. Mo­ments later, quar­ter­back Robert Geiss con­nected with Bred­nan O’Don­nell for a one-yard TD pass and a 10-point lead that stood up.

Geiss fin­ished the day with 202 yards on 17-26 pass­ing, and added 58 yards on 13 car­ries.

“All day long, we all just sup­ported each other so well,” said Great Val­ley of­fen­sive line­man Brad Al­lan. “We all knew that fum­ble meant the game. This was just a great win. And it was a great game for all the peo­ple here for home­com­ing.”

Ox­ford still searches for its first win in the Ch­esMont Amer­i­can, de­spite be­ing in most of its games.

“All we can con­trol now is the next two weeks,” said Means. “We just have to be­lieve in our­selves late in games. We have to find a way to win the close ones, like teams have been do­ing to us. We’ve got two more weeks. Hope­fully we can end on a high note.”

BILL RU­DICK — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Great Val­ley run­ning back Mark DeRober­tis cruises into the end zone in front of Ox­ford’s Bran­don DeShields for a touch­down against Ox­ford on Satur­day.

BILL RU­DICK — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Ryan Hub­ley makes a catch for Great Val­ley dur­ing Satur­day’s game.

BILL RU­DICK — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Great Val­ley’s Ryan Hub­ley knocks down Ox­ford run­ning back Bran­don Holz short of the goalline Satur­day.

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