Spring Valley rolls over Tigers
SPRING VALLEY — The Spring Valley Timberwolves football team was looking to brighten its playoff picture and vent some frustration after losing to George Washington one week ago.
The Princeton Tigers happened to be available.
Spring Valley (4-3) did what it does best, handing the ball to Elijah Wellman and Ryan George for a combined 40 carries, on their way to a 35-13 drubbing of the Tigers (1-7) on Homecoming Friday night.
George got a touchdown on the ground, while Wellman ran one in and was on the end of a 22-yard touchdown pass.
At first it looked like it could be a different type of contest.
Princeton took the opening drive of the game 69 yards for a touchdown while burning 5:09 off the first quarter clock.
The Tigers gutted the Timberwolves, running and tossing short screens from the spread.
At the end of the first quarter, the Tigers were up 7-6.
Princeton would not score again until the fourth quarter.
Spring Valley head coach Brad Dingess said his team wasn’t out-schemed on defense, but his players took a while to wake up.
“I thought we came out a hair flat on that opening series,” Dingess said. “We didn’t do a good job of getting (the players) up and ready to play, and that’s my fault. I put that touchdown on my shoulders. But once they found a groove, it was pretty easy after that.”
Spring Valley racked up 22 first downs, while holding Princeton to 10. The Tigers didn’t convert a first down in the second half until quarterback Jay Palmer broke off a 59-yard touchdown run against the second-string defense at 4:51 in the fourth quarter.
Meanwhile, the Timberwolves got some breakout play out of their sophomore quarterback Tyler Brown, who threw for two touchdown passes, the aforementioned to Wellman and a 17-yard strike to Tyler Robinson. Both passes came on fourth-and-long situations. Brown also had a 12-yard run for a score.
“We’ve been working with him a lot and he’s getting more confident in the offense,” Dingess said. “I think that showed tonight. He ran the ball well and made good decisions as far as throwing the ball. He’s getting better every week.”
Spring Valley’s back-breaker was the opening drive of the third quarter, which went for 90 yards on 15 plays and took 6:53 off the clock. It was capped with Brown’s toss to Robertson for a touchdown.
The only negative on the night for the Timberwolves was 11 penalties for 80 yards.
“We’re a physical, aggressive football team,” Dingess said. “Some crews call a game tighter than others. We were pancaking guys 10, 15 yards down the field. Agressive penalties, we’ll work on that, but I’m not too worried about that.”
Spring Valley has a tougher test awaiting next week when they travel to Hurricane in a game that has serious playoff implications.
“Hurricane is a good football team,” Dingess said. “The winner of that one might be able to get a home playoff game. That’s a big one for us and that might tell how the rest of our season goes.”
PRINCETON 7 0 0 6 — 13
SPRING VALLEY 8 15 7 7 — 35
P — Palmer 5 run (Austin Smith kick)
SV — George 1 run (kick failed)
SV — Wellman 1 run (Wellman run)
SV — Brown 22-yard pass to Wellman (Sammy Brody kick)
SV — Brown 17-yard pass to Robertson (Brody kick)
SV — Brown 12 run (Kyle O’Neal kick)
P — Palmer 59 run (kick failed)
Total yards 206 406
First downs 10 22
Rushes-yards 24-168 56-315
Comp-Att-Int 4-13-1 5-9-0
Passing yards 38 91
Penalties-Yds 13-110 11-80
Fumbles-Lost 1-1 0-0
RUSHING — P: Palmer, 12-98, 2 TD, fumble; Tahj Johnson, 8-44; Brett Carroll, 3-20; Devin Allen, 3-4; Smith, 1-2. SV: Wellman, 26-161, TD.; George, 14-74, TD; Brown, 7-47, TD; Robertson, 5-21; Colby Webb, 2-3; Adam Page, 1-3; Dylan Lageman, 1-3; Billy Evans, 1-3.
PASSING — P: Palmer 4-13-1, 38 yards. SV: Brown 5-9-0, 91 yards, 2 TDs.
RECEIVING — P: Johnson, 2-9; Lamont Lee, 1-23; Allen, 1-6. SV: Corey Hughart, 2-47; Wellman, 1-22, TD; Robertson, 1-17, TD; Caleb Pennington, 1-5; Page, 1-1.