Shenandoah Valley gets first win since 2017, beats Columbia-Montour Area Vo-Tech School 37-34
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SHENANDOAH – Breaking a long losing streak usually doesn’t come easily, and that was certainly the case for Shenandoah Valley on Tuesday night.
The Blue Devils, winless on the season at 0-6 and without a win since 2017, took on the winless Columbia-Montour Vo-Tech Rams (0-5) and managed to hold off a furious fourth quarter comeback by the Rams and snap the program’s 34-game losing streak with a 37-34 win.
“Our kids played hard, they handled some adversity, our offensive line dominated the game, and Owen Kosar is a great playmaker and an excellent athlete,” said Shenandoah Valley coach Ed Moran. “He was one of the best players on the field tonight. I’m just so proud of these kids. They’ve been through a lot of struggles and they’ve kept practicing and playing, so I’m just thrilled for them.”
The win is the first for Shenandoah Valley in more than three years – since September 8, 2017, a 38-0 win over Kutztown. The Blue Devils pulled it off with ball control and by limiting mistakes. They held the ball for exactly 10 minutes more than the Rams, 35:00-25:00, and also played turnover-free football, while CMVT committed two costly turnovers, one of which led to a Blue Devil touchdown late in the first half, which made it a two-score game at halftime as opposed to a four-point game.
Controlling the ball for longer and a fast start carried the Blue Devils and gave them enough of a cushion to withstand the Rams’ late fury. Shenandoah Valley scored on its first three possessions of the game, all in the first quarter, holding the ball for 8:54 of the opening quarter, and running 17 plays to just six for the Rams. That would be a harbinger of what was to come, as the Blue Devils ran 65 offensive plays in the game, not including kneel-downs, to just 34 for CMVT.
The Blue Devils got a 35-yard touchdown run from Brian Dunne on their third play from scrimmage and went up 8-0. CMVT then struck right back with a 44-yard touchdown run by Jake Shotwell, which would be the first of three for him on the night.
Shenandoah Valley then scored on its next two drives to open up a 22-6 lead as Dunne found the end zone for a second time to cap a nine-play, 70-yard drive, and then Owen Kosar finished a 71-yard drive with a one-yard run, which followed a 45-yard gain on the first play of the drive.
The Rams then struck on each of their next two drives, getting a pair of touchdown passes. First, Seth Shoemaker found Chase Koncsler for a 22-yard touchdown reception, and then Koncsler moved to quarterback and found Shane Tomlinson deep for a 66-yard stroke, cutting the Blue Devil lead to 22-18 with still over eight minutes left in the second quarter.
But the Rams turned the ball over on their next two possessions, fumbling away a snap and then Shoemaker throwing an interception that was returned to the Ram 12-yard line, which led to the Blue Devils adding another touchdown before the end of the half as Kosar went in from three yards out on a 4th-and-1 play.
“We let them drive the ball in the first quarter, put up some scores on us, and then started to see we could play with them, and then we rose up our intensity on defense,” said CMVT coach Mark Varner. “I thought we outplayed them in the second, third and fourth quarters, but we just weren’t ready to play off the bus. We had two bad plays, the quarterback exchange fumble and the interception, and they were really our only two bad plays.”
“When you have three seniors on the team and are basically playing a team of sophomores, they haven’t learned how to travel yet, how to tunnel that intensity that they need from the time they get on the bus, travel and get off the bus. There’s something to learn doing that and they’re young 14 and 15-year-old kids that haven’t learned yet that the intensity needs to come as soon as they get off the bus. It’s not something they can just call up. It’s a process that’s learned and trying to explain it to a 14 or 15-year-old can be tough.”
The slow start unfortunately squandered a 200-yard rushing performance by Shotwell, who almost single-handedly got the Rams back in the game in the fourth quarter. With CMVT trailing 37-18 after Shenandoah Valley scored their fifth touchdown of the game with 10:37 left in the fourth quarter, the Rams took possession at the Blue Devil 35-yard line after a 37-yard kickoff return by Tommy Bond. Shotwell then ripped off runs of 15 and 18 yards, the latter for a touchdown to pull the Rams within 11 at 37-26 with 9:09 remaining.
But Shenandoah Valley then put together an 11-play drive that was eventually stopped on downs, but not before burning over six minutes off the clock, and giving the Rams the ball back at their own 34 with 2:49 remaining.
Shotwell took over on that drive, getting gains for 28, 40 and 24 yards on three of the drive’s four plays, the final one going for his third score of the game to make it 37-34 after a two-point conversion with 1:56 remaining.
“Shotwell is a good back, he runs downhill and he runs hard,” said Moran. “I was at Panther Valley last year and he beat Panther Valley last year.”
However, the Blue Devils were able to run out the clock by gaining a pair of first downs on their next drive, which were the final two of 23 first downs on the evening – 12 more than the Rams.
“We just ran behind our two big seniors on the offensive line at the end,” said Moran. “They paved the way for us all night and we just said we were going to go right behind them to close it out.”
Shenandoah Valley 37, CMVT 34
CMVT (0-6) 6 12 0 16 – 34
Shenandoah Valley (1-6) 22 8 0 7 – 37
10:42 – (SV) Brian Dunne 35-yard run (Dunne run), 3-65, 1:18
9:47 – (VT) Jake Shotwell 44-yard run (run failed), 2-47, :55
4:17 – (SV) Brian Dunne 3-yard run (Kosar run), 9-70, 5:30
:09 – (SV) Owen Kosar 1-yard run (kick failed), 5-71, 2:06
11:43 – (VT) Chase Koncsler 22-yard pass from Seth Shoemaker (run failed), 2-31, :17
8:06 – (VT) Shane Tomlinson 66-yard pass from Chase Koncsler (pass failed), 3-63, 1:00
2:03 – (SV) Owen Kosar 3-yard run Dunne run), 5-12, 1:47
10:37 – (SV) Hunter Teter 1-yard run (Kosar kick), 9-55, 4:51
9:09 – (VT) Jake Shotwell 18-yard run (DiAgostino run), 3-35, 1:28
1:56 – (VT) Jake Shotwell 24-yard run (Shoemaker run), 4-66, :53
First downs 11 23
Rushes-net yards 24-205 50-296
Passing yardage 112 102
Passing 3-10-2-1 8-17-0-0
Fumbles-lost 1-1 1-0
Penalties-yards 5-30 12-94
RUSHING: CMVT: Jake Shotwell (16-200-3), Seth Shoemaker (6-1), Dante DiAgostino (2-4); Shenandoah Valley: Hunter Teter (22-118-1), Owen Kosar (15-92-2), Brian Dunne (11-88-2), TEAM (2-(-2))
PASSING: CMVT: Seth Shoemaker (2-7-34-1-1), Chase Koncsler (1-3-78-1-0); Shenandoah Valley: Owen Kosar (8-17-102-0-0)
RECEIVING: CMVT: Chase Koncsler (2-34-1), Shane Tomlinson (1-66-1); Shenandoah Valley: Tyler Harris (4-56), Aaryn Nickerson (3-33), Zachary Slater (1-13)
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