By Joby Groom
For The Fayette Tribune
In a game of bend but don’t break, the Valley Greyhounds were able to win a hard-fought road contest 14-8 against a good Wirt County team Friday.
With the game knotted at 8-all, Valley wasted little time in the fourth quarter. With 11:44 on the clock, Raeshawn Breckenridge threw a pass to Druw Bowen. Bowen made a solid catch on the low-thrown ball then raced 84 yards to the end zone to put the Greyhounds back in front.
Valley then turned to its defense to preserve the victory. The ‘Hounds halted each subsequent Tiger march, and Valley — behind the strong running of Keyshawn Payne — advanced the ball to the Wirt 8 in the game’s latter stages. However, the hosts sacked Breckenridge twice, then they tipped a Breckenridge aerial to Dante Wilkerson. Valley went for it on fourth down only to see Darius Hutchinson stopped after a short gain.
The Tigers proceeded on a potential game-winning drive with under 2:00 left. Behind the running and passing of quarterback Damien Rhodes, Wirt marched to the 18-yard line. With 55 seconds to go, Rhodes dropped back to pass. Valley’s Brad Higginbotham raced through the line and hammered Rhodes. The hit caused a fumble, which Valley’s Casey Stewart recovered to allow the ‘Hounds to escape with the well-deserved win.
With under a minute left before halftime and Valley with the ball, Breckenridge delivered a nice pass to Wilkerson for 48 yards, taking Valley to the 8. With 38 seconds left, Breckenridge raced 8 yards untouched to the end zone. Keyshawn Payne took the handoff from Breckenridge and hit Henry Barron-Houchins in the back of the end zone for the two-point conversion, making it 8-0.
Late in the third quarter, Rhodes connected with Joy for 38 yards, advancing the ball to the 22-yard stripe. Later, Rhodes rushed 13 yards for a score, pulling the Tigers to within 8-6. Rhodes passed to Linville for the conversion to tie it up.
Also last week, Fayetteville went on the road and dropped a 60-26 decision to defending state champion Wahama.