For more than a decade, Fayetteville has had Valley’s number on the football field.
That changed — decidedly — Friday night.
The Class A No. 2 Greyhounds hiked their record to 4-0 by racing to a 38-0 lead en route to a 38-14 verdict over the winless Pirates at WVU Tech’s Martin Field.
The victory marked the first Valley triumph in the series since a 30-13 outcome in 2002, and it is only the Greyhounds’ third win over Fayetteville in the past 15 years.
“It’s always nice to win,” said Valley coach Benny Hopkins. “We’ve had a couple of pretty good games against them (in recent years), but we just couldn’t get over the hump. This is a game I look forward to. Me and Coach (Frank) Spangler have coached together (several years in the North-South Classic). He’s a nice fellow. You like to win when you play them.”
The lights on one side of Martin Field weren’t functioning as the two teams battled, but the Boomer Fire Department helped provide auxiliary lighting to allow the game to proceed. While the stadium lights were only half-strength, the Valley offense boasted full wattage.
The Greyhounds spread the offensive wealth around, getting touchdowns from four different players in rolling up a 215-43 edge in offensive yardage in the opening half. Cody Winter used an 8-yard scoring run at the 7:32 mark of the opening period to cap a six-play, 62-yard drive — a possession which featured 23- and 11-yard runs by Winter and a 13-yarder by Matt Whiteside.
Winter wound up with a team-best 85 yards on 11 carries, all in the first half. “We did a pretty good job up front, and Cody runs the ball pretty well,” said Hopkins.
Valley got subsequent rushing scores from Darius Hutchinson (4-yard TD after Hutchinson covered a blocked punt) and Keyshawn Payne (32-yard gallop set up by a pair of first-down runs by Payne), then quarterback Whiteside threw a 30-yard strike to Mark Hess on a crossing pattern that resulted in Valley’s fourth score. Myles White’s two-point catch from Whiteside made it 30-0 with 0:50.5 remaining in the half.
Then, White drove the proverbial nail in the Pirates’ coffin when he — despite not fielding the ball cleanly — raced 84 yards to paydirt with the second-half kickoff.
Fayetteville, which had some players miss the first half due to school suspensions and had others out for other reasons, had only 18 players in uniform for the first half.
“There were four starters we didn’t have,” said coach Frank Spangler. “We’re really trying to keep our heads above water, really. They’re trying hard. We were just a step behind all night. The suspensions and other problems we have - we just didn’t play with much energy.”
Fullback/linebacker Hunter Pullens missed the game with family health issues.
The Pirates got two fourth-quarter scores to make the game closer. Aaron Krise, who didn’t play in the first half, scored on a 24-yard run with 5:00 left which capped a drive whose key play was a 34-yard burst by Jake Alton. Later, Alton found the end zone himself on a 51-yard scamper with 1:18 to go. Alton finished as Fayetteville’s top rusher with 130 yards on 16 carries.
“We played well, a lot better than last week,” said Hopkins. ”We’ve got a pretty good team, and they’re a little bit down.”
Valley will seek its fifth straight win as it travels to Meadow Bridge Friday. The contest, Meadow Bridge’s homecoming, will match two unbeaten teams carrying high state rankings.
The Pirates (0-5) will visit Man Friday. “We have to regroup and get ready for next week,” Spangler said.
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Valley 38, Fayetteville 14
Fayetteville (0-5) 0 0 0 14 — 14
Valley (4-0) 16 14 8 0 — 38
V: Cody Winter 8 run (Raeshawn Breckenridge run), 8-0, 7:32
V: Darius Hutchinson 4 run (Matt Whiteside run), 16-0, 0:15.1
V: Keyshawn Payne 32 run (run failed), 22-0, 8:57
V: Mark Hess 30 pass from Whiteside (Myles White pass from Whiteside), 30-0, 0:50.5
V: White 84 kick return (Whiteside run), 38-0, 11:45
F: Aaron Krise 24 run (Jake Alton run), 38-8, 5:00
F: Alton 51 run (pass failed), 38-14, 1:18
RUSHING — F: Alton 16-130-1, Krise 4-30-1, Tracey Lovins 10-28, Caleb Bailes 2-0. V: Winter 11-85-1, Whiteside 4-38, Hutchinson 6-20-1, Payne 5-53-1, Henry Barron 11-41, Seth Harmon 5-31, Patrick McKnight 4-5, Hunter Adkins 3-5, Aaron Liddle 1-(-4), Blake Williams 1-0, Team 1-(-4).
PASSING — F: Krise 1-3-0-(-1)-0, Bailes 0-1-0-0-0. V: Breckenridge 0-2-0-0-0, Whiteside 2-3-0-32-1.
RECEIVING — F: Tasheem Collins 1-(-1). V: Hess 1-30-1, Barron 1-2.
TURNOVERS — F: Zach Hopkins (FR). V: Brad Higginbotham (FR).