Midland survives Spring Valley
ONA — Cabell Midland running back David Gaydosz generated more additions to an ever-expanding 2012 highlight reel. Teammate Lowell Farley produced similar highlights, but in a more conventional fashion.
Spring Valley’s one-two tandem of Elijah Wellman and Ryan George barrelled their way to 100-yard plus games as well, a far cry better than what they produced back on Aug. 24 against these same Knights in a loss.
In the end, though, it would be Cabell Midland’s defense making the stop when needed most to preserve a 28-26 victory in the quarterfinal round of the West Virginia Class AAA playoffs Friday night at Cabell Midland.
Wellman scored from 17 yards out with 6:48 left to cut the deficit to 28-26. On the try for two, Tyler Hayes for the Knights stopped Wellman in his tracks short of the goal line.
Spring Valley allowed a first down on the first snap on the next possession, but then forced the Knights to punt. The Timberwolves took over at their 32 with just over four minutes left and with momentum.
Defensive lineman Gage Gould then asserted himself, dropping George for a 3-yard loss on first down and held Tyler Brown to no gain on third down. On second down, Wellman got nothing up the middle to force a 4th-and-13 at the 29. After a timeout and motion penalty, Brown tried to hit Cory Hughart deep down the left sideline, but the pass fell incomplete and the Knights (12-0), top-ranked much of the season and No .1 seed for the playoffs, had a semifinal date next weekend against Morgantown at home.
“We were going 100 percent the whole game,” Gould said. “It’s exciting. I carried out my assignment. When that ball (last pass) was in the air, it seemed like it was up there for two days. When it fell incomplete, we all had a sense of relief.”
“Gage is an absolute stud,” said Knights senior linebacker Nick Boone, who came up with a big block on a point-after after Spring Valley’s third touchdown. “He went out and played his finest. We performed when it mattered most.”
Gaydosz piled up 167 yards on 18 carries including a 48-yard TD run in the third period when he darted right after taking a pitch from Coy Pettit, zagged left down the the field to avoid Spring Valley defenders and then stretched the ball over the goal line for the score for a 21-20 lead with 5:05 left. Gaydosz had no yards rushing in the first period after having a 59-yard TD run negated by a penalty.
“I was frustrated especially after I had the first carry to the house,” Gaydosz said. “I told the offensive line keep going, I’ll break one again. It was nerve wracking at the end, but I’ve got faith in my teammates.
Timberwolves coach Brad Dingess hugged many of his players after time ran out.
Players hugged one another as well while some sat on the turf as they know their season was over. Spring Valley (8-4) started the year 0-2, but came back to win eight of nine to make the playoffs and secured its first playoff win in school history last Friday.
“The kids showed a lot of grit,” Dingess said. “They handled us up front at the beginning of the year. To do what we did in this ball game showed we improved by leaps and bounds. We blocked them. That’s a tough way to lose.”
One consolation for Dingess is he and the Timberwolves won’t see Gaydosz anymore. He’s now up to 1,886 yards rushing and 26 touchdowns.
“He’s just a really good football player,” Dingess said. “There’s a reason he’s one of the best in the state. He makes you miss.”
Gaydosz broke loose for a 47-yard run early in the fourth period, another highlight reel romp, and it helped the Knights complete a 9-play, 93-yard TD drive. Farley got the score on a 1-yard run. The senior finished with 126 on 17 carries, his highlight a 58-yard TD sprint in the first period.
“One more cut and I would’ve scored,” Gaydosz said. “Keep the legs moving.”
Knights coach Luke Salmons liked the poise his team showed after a tough start. Midway through the second period, Spring Valley had run 22 plays to four for the Knights.
“We stayed focused and took care of the ball,” he said. “We didn’t press this time like we did the first time. Defense bailed us out. We blocked a kick (PAT). Tyler was in the right place (2-point try) and we got the last stop. Gage took over. He was in the backfield. He was electric.
“David had some hughes runs. That’s what players do. It was a good high school football game. We made a couple of more plays at the end.”
This was Cabell Midland’s second closest call of the season. The Knights beat Huntington High, 14-13, on Sept. 21. Morgantown downed the No. 4 Highlanders, 35-14, Friday at Bob Sang Stadium. Times for the semifinal round next week will be decided Sunday.
SPRING VALLEY 0 14 6 6 — 26
CABELL MIDLAND 7 7 7 7 — 28
CM — Farley 58 run (Molina kick), 3:40.
SV — George 34 run (Brody kick), 9:55.
SV — Wellman 3 run (Brody kick), 5:06.
CM — Farley 1 run (Molina kick), 0:13.7.
SV — Wellman 5 run (kick failed), 7:56.
CM — Gaydosz 48 run (Molina kick), 5:05.
CM — Farley 1 run (Molina kick), 9:30.
SV — Wellman 17 run (run failed), 6:48.
First downs 18 13
Total Net Yards 316 309
Rushes-yards 43-286 44-309
Passing 30 0
Comp-Att-Int 3-5-1 0-2-0
Fumbles-Lost 3-2 2-0
Penalties-Yards 7-70 7-75
RUSHING — SV: Brown 6-4, George 18-146, Wellman 27-133, Evans 2-3. CM: Pettit 1-minus 2, Gaydosz 18-167, Thomas 5-16, Farley 17-126.
PASSING — SV: Brown 3-5-1, 30. CM: Pettit 0-1-0, Gaydosz 0-1-0.
RECEIVING — SV: Hughart 1-2, Wellman 1-5, Evans 1-23.