Cougars blank Moun­taineers

The Times-Tribune - - SPORTS - BY STEVE BEN­NETT STAFF WRITER

DAL­LAS — There was still plenty of foot­ball left to be played Fri­day night and that one big mo­men­tum shift had yet to hap­pen.

How­ever, in the span of 21 sec­onds in the third quar­ter, Val­ley View checked both boxes.

Jaden Du­p­lessis had just hauled in his sec­ond touch­down pass of the game to put the Cougars ahead by two scores, but by no means had they put Dal­las away.

Then, Zack Ko­valchik came up with the play that did.

Ko­valchik re­turned an in­ter­cep­tion 24 yards for a touch­down, and with it, helped the Cougars take a com­mand­ing lead in a 33-0 vic­tory over Dal­las in a non­con­fer­ence high school foot­ball game.

Val­ley View im­proves to 8-0, and owns vic­to­ries over Wy­oming Val­ley Con­fer­ence foes Ber­wick and Dal­las. Dal­las drops to 7-1, and must re­group quickly for a trip to Ber­wick next week.

Ko­valchik’s in­ter­cep­tion re­turn put the Cougars ahead, 19-0, but with as well as the Val­ley View de­fense was play­ing in the sec­ond half, the lead ap­peared in­sur­mount­able.

Val­ley View held Dal­las to mi­nus-11 yards rush­ing in the sec­ond half, and mi­nus-6 yards to­tal. On the other side, the Cougars fin­ished with 344 yards rush­ing and 473 yards of to­tal of­fense.

“We just told the kids at half­time that we needed to do a lit­tle bet­ter job tack­ling,” Val­ley View coach Ge­orge Howanitz said. “We made a cou­ple of mis­takes on pass routes, but we pres­sured them more in the sec­ond half. We have been in these big games be­fore. I thought it showed.”

The Cougars took a 6-0 lead when Du­p­lessis hauled in a 37-yard touch­down pass from Janaasah Boone with 8:29 left in the sec­ond quar­ter.

Dal­las took the en­su­ing drive and marched to the Val­ley View 3. But an off­side penalty pushed the ball back five yards, a neg­a­tive rush and in­com­plete pass then fol­lowed. Ul­ti­mately, the Moun­taineers were forced to set­tle for a 26-yard field goal at­tempt that was botched, and the Moun­taineers came away empty.

“Credit to (Val­ley View),” Dal­las coach Rich Man­nello said. “They kicked our butts. That is a good foot­ball team. I think get­ting a touch­down on that drive would have helped us get go­ing. We didn’t get it, but we have to han­dle it. I thought Val­ley View did a great job.”

Val­ley View scored on the first drive of the third quar­ter when Du­p­lessis hooked up with Boone on a 16-yard pass play on a fourth down call. Ko­valchik’s in­ter­cep­tion soon fol­lowed.

“I thought we wore them down a bit in the sec­ond half,” Howanitz said. “The kids did a nice job block­ing and opened up the holes. The de­fense did a great job shut­ting them down. I think kids go­ing one-way paid div­i­dends in the sec­ond half.

Val­ley View run­ning back Ma­son Kordish rushed for a pair of touch­downs in the sec­ond half, and fin­ished the night with 208 yards rush­ing.

“He is just so tough, you can’t tackle him,” Howanitz said of Kordish. “He is al­ways side­ways, and he is shifty. He has good enough speed to break away when he has to.”

Con­tact the writer: sben­nett@cit­i­zensvoice.com; 570-348-9125;

@sport­stt on Twit­ter

CHRISTO­PHER Dolan / STAFF PHO­TOG­RA­PHER

Val­ley View’s Ma­son Kordish runs through the Dal­las de­fense.

CHRISTO­PHER DOLAN / STAFF PHO­TOG­RA­PHER

Val­ley View quar­ter­back Janaasah Boone re­acts af­ter the Cougars shut out Dal­las, 33-0, to con­tinue their un­de­feated sea­son.

CHRISTO­PHER DOLAN / STAFF PHO­TOG­RA­PHER

Val­ley View’s Jaden Du­p­lessis hauls in a pass over Dal­las’ Matt Maran­sky for a touch­down dur­ing Fri­day’s game.

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