Written by Bradly Windhorst.
Brand new season, brand new players, brand new week one, and brand new foes. Part one of a two-conference game week one occurred in the likes of Monaca, PA where newly-introduced-to-AAA ball Ellwood City matched up against Central Valley for an early conference outlook. Coming fresh off of a 11-2 WPIAL runner-up finish, Central Valley was opening the season with hopes of repeating such success. Ellwood City on the other hand was looking for players to step up at the skills positions, while also showing they are not a push-over team in the likes of AAA. Only one would prevail.
Central Valley took the opening kickoff (deferred) and traveled down the field 53 yards over a 2:41 span to open the scoring in the game with a 8 yard rush by Danny Santia and a PAT by Brendan Jugan. [7-0 CV].
Ellwood City took their first drive and couldn’t move the ball North & South early; however, a fumbled return allowed Ellwood City to take the ball on CV’s side of the field. Once again, Ellwood couldn’t move the ball. Central Valley quickly took over and scored another quick touchdown, this time by the air – a busted play – where Danny Santia took a screen pass from Nico Battisti 66 yards to the house. Jugan added the PAT and all of the sudden CV was up 14-0. [14-0 CV].
Things got worse in the first quarter for Ellwood – a rugby punt by Donavin Chambers was blocked and returned by Kevin Anderson for 29 yards. the extra point by Jugan was good and now CV led 21-0. [21-0 CV].
Ellwood held their ground in the second quarter, holding CV to a 30 yard field goal by Jugan to help CV lead at half 24-0. [24-0 CV]. After halftime, Ellwood was able to make some adjustments and prevailed through the air by a pass from Jordan Recce to Luca Botti for 30 yards – the extra point was failed and now CV led only by 18. [24-6 CV].
From this point on, the teams battled back and forth until late in the third quarter where Central Valley scored on a 56 yard post route by Cameron Drake from Curtis Latshaw – PAT by Jugan was good and now CV led 31-6 going into the fourth quarter. [31-6 CV].
The fourth quarter helped summed up the rest of the game where both teams possessed the ball and took time off the clock. A late field goal from 33 yards out by Jugan finished the scoring for the evening at 34-6 CV. [34-6 CV].
Although Ellwood lost the game early, hopes for the defense and development of the offense are there. Looking at the stats, you wouldn’t quite see a 34-6 game; however, Central Valley made the big explosive plays where Ellwood did not. Ellwood was led by Jordan Recce at the helm where he was 8-17, 1 TD 1 INT, for 67 yards. Defensively, Toby Kelly was stout by having 14 total tackles, 3 for loss, and one sack for a loss of 6 yards.
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