Redskins top Timberwolves, make playoffs
SPRING VALLEY — Hurricane quarterback Jon Hensley, the state’s leading passer, completed just one pass of any significance Friday night and it was the biggest play of the Redskins’ football season.
Hensley hit Cameron Humphreys with a 64-yard touchdown pass with 3 minutes to play Friday night in a 20-17 victory at Spring Valley, likely clinching a Class AAA playoff berth for Hurricane (6-4). Before the winning throw, Hensley had completed just 5 of 8 passes for 6 yards on the cold, muddy grass at the Spring Valley Athletic Field.
“The field was a factor,” said Hensley, whose team uncharacteristically ran 34 times and passed eight. “The field conditions were bad and it was freezing. (Zach) Pate can cut on a dime and when he couldn’t cut we knew nobody could.”
Pate performed well despite the conditions, rushing for 120 yards on 22 carries. Humphreys, though, scored the game winner. Facing 2nd-and-12 from his own 36-yard line, Hensley hit Humphreys over the middle at the Timberwolves 37. Humphreys cut left and narrowly outraced Spring Valley defensive backs to provide the margin of victory.
Despite the loss, Spring Valley (6-4) likely will be in the playoffs, but won’t know until Sunday.
The Timberwolves could face a road matchup with either top-ranked Huntington High, No. 2 Martinsburg or No. 3 Point Pleasant. Hurricane, as well, figures to play one of those teams.
“We’ll see where we end up,” Spring Valley coach Brad Dingess said. “Maybe we’ll go shock somebody. We’re a good football team. We’re not an easy matchup.”
Dingess tried to remain optimistic after his team fumbled seven times, losing two, and was outrushed by 165 yards to 120. His team appeared to have the game won after Tyler Brown hit Trevor Maynard with a 9-yard touchdown pass with 3:46 to play. Hurricane, which had mustered just 168 yards all night, needed merely two plays and 46 seconds to snatch away the victory.
“We thought if we could get our tight end up on the safety, we could get them in the middle of the field,” Hensley said. “That’s what happened. We knew we had to win or go home.”
Spring Valley led most of the way. The teams traded touchdowns before Kyle O’Neal’s 26-yard field goal as time expired in the first half gave the Timberwolves a 10-7 lead.The second half saw the teams go three-and-out on the first seven series before the Redskins took a 14-10 lead on Hensley’s 1-yard sneak to cap a seven-play, 54-yard drive, all on the ground.
Spring Valley, which used an 11-play 73-yard drive to take a 7-0 lead, followed Hensley’s TD plunge with a 12-play 63-yard trek to take a 17-14 lead with 3:46 left. The Timberwolves, though, couldn’t hold on.
“Hurricane did a good job defending us,” Dingess said. “They gave us fits. They controlled the line of scrimmage a lot. Execution-wise, we took a step back from the last six games. We can’t fumble that many times and make that many mistakes and beat anyone.”
HURRICANE 0 7 0 13 — 20
SPRING VALLEY 7 3 0 7 — 17
SV — Frye 5 run (O’Neal kick)
H — Pate 4 run (Hughes kick)
SV — O’Neal FG 26
H — Hensley 1 run (Hughes kick)
SV — Humphreys 64 pass from Hensley (kick failed)
First Downs 9 12
Rushes-yards 34-165 45-120
Passes 6-8-0 7-11-0
Passing yards 70 109
Total yards 235 229
Fumbles-lost 3-2 7-2
Penalties-yards 4-30 3-28.3
Punts 4-30.0 2-28.3
RUSHING — Hurricane: Pate 22-120, Hensley 7-5, Francis 3-17, Barker 1-9. Spring Valley: Webb 14-38, Brewer 3-16, Lagaman 2-8, Brown 12-13, Frye 14-45.
PASSING — Hurricane: Hensley 6-8-0, 70 yards. Spring Valley: Brown 7-11-0, 109 yards.
RECEIVING — Hurricane: Sorsaia 1-1, Pate 2-(-4), Fitzsimmons 1-11, Humphreys 2-62. Spring Valley: Maynard 3-50, Napier 1-28, Brewer 1-14, Webb 2-17.
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