Williams Valley rolls past Tri-Valley to claim District 11 Class A championship
WILLIAMSTOWN, Pa. – It was all about records Saturday night.
Running back Cole Barnhardt set a pair of single-season rushing records. Quarterback Stephen Sedesse set a single-season passing yardage record. Heck, even the 50/50 prize of $2,025 was a record.
Williams Valley winning a district football championship, however, won’t go down as sounding like a broken record.
Tri-Valley League champion Williams Valley (12-0) rolled to a 28-0 halftime lead and held Tri-Valley’s (10-2) potent 1-2 backfield punch of Blake Bowman and Dalton Miller in check the entire game to secure the school’s second District 11 Class A football championship, and first since 1990, in a 48-0 mercy rule victory Saturday night from Gerald Stauffenburg Field at Viking Stadium in Williamstown.
In mercy rule games, the clock runs continuously in the second half when one team builds a lead of 35 points or more. The clock only stops for timeouts, injuries or scoring plays, and the running clock doesn’t stop if the losing team pulls to within 35 points at any point in the second half.
With the victory, the Vikings advance to a PIAA Class A preliminary round game against District 1/12 champion Bristol, a representative of the Bicentennial Athletic League in District 1. The Warriors defeated Philadelphia Public League rep Communications Tech, 27-24, Friday, and will host next week’s game Friday night at a site to be determined.
When Williams Valley won its only District 11 A crown, the Eastern Conference playoffs were still a major player and the primary way for teams to gain enough points to enter the PIAA tournament. So the Vikings didn’t qualify for the PIAA playoffs in 1990. Next Friday’s game will mark the program’s first-ever PIAA playoff game.
“We’re having a (heck) of a season,” said first-year head coach Tim Savage, a 1992 graduate of WV. “We’re coaching for the kids and the kids are playing for us. This means everything to us (as a program). It’s our first 12-0 season, first PIAA playoff berth.”
It was also Tri-Valley’s first shutout loss of the season.
“They won the game up front,” said Tri-Valley head coach Mike Kogut. “They were tenacious on defense.”
Tri-Valley featured a potent 1-2 backfield rushing duo of Blake Bowman and Dalton Miller, both seniors, who combined to form the seventh 2,000/1,000 backfield rushing duo in Pennsylvania since 2003. But Williams Valley left Bowman and Miller punchless.
Bowman rushed for 75 yards on 19 carries and completed one pass for four yards. Miller rushed for 36 yards on 10 carries and completed 2-of-10 passes for 5 yards with two interceptions (both by WV’s James Deiter). Tri-Valley finished a combined 4-of-13 passing for 16 yards. The Bulldogs finished with 129 yards of total offense and committed as many turnovers in the game as it had first downs (five).
“Our defense has been key,” said senior receiver/safety Owen Daniel. “Ever since Week 1, we wanted to shut everybody out.”
Saturday marked Williams Valley’s seventh shutout in 12 games. The Vikings have allowed an average of 7.3 points per game.
“We were able to shut them down and limit their big plays the first time we played,” Kogut said.
The scoreless tie lasted all of 56 seconds. Daniel streaked behind the Bulldog defense for a 75-yard touchdown reception from Stephen Sedesse on the game’s second play to build a 7-0 advantage. Daniel also caught two 15-yard scoring passes later in the game and finished with three receptions for 105 yards.
This night, it was Cole Barnhardt’s turn to shine. Barnhardt widened the Vikings’ lead to 14-0 with a 5-yard run in the first quarter, then added scoring runs of 62 yards in the second and 16 yards in the third quarter to cap a 21-carry, 162-yard game.
“I expected to run it a lot, but it was nice to get all of those yards,” Barnhardt said. “It feels amazing to be able to wear this gold medal around my neck.”
Trevor Whelski capped the game scoring with a 15-yard run in the fourth quarter.
NOTES: Tri-Valley was seeking its first District 11 championship game since 2009, when the Bulldogs finished 10-5 and advanced to the PIAA semifinals opposite Bishop McCort…….Barnhardt established single-season records for rushing yardage (1,559) and rushing touchdowns (22), while Sedesse set a single-season passing yardage record (1,795). Daniel went over the 1,000-yard mark in receiving and has 50 catches for 1,084 yards and 16 touchdowns. Daniel said he is “fully settled in” to playing receiver and loves the position. In fact, he hopes to play receiver at the collegiate level…….The Tri-Valley League featured four of its teams (WV, T-V, Millersburg and Line Mountain) in three different PIAA Class A district playoff tournaments this season…….Williams Valley, through 12 games, has averaged 353.1 yards per game – 203.3 rushing and 149.8 passing. “I believe we’re the most balanced team remaining in Class A in the state,” Savage said.
Tri-Valley 0 0 0 0 – 0
Williams Valley 14 14 13 7 – 48
WV – Owen Daniel 75 pass from Stephen Sedesse (Cody Miller kick)
WV – Cole Barnhardt 5 run (Miller kick)
WV – Barnhardt 62 run (Miller kick)
WV – Daniel 15 pass from Sedesse (Miller kick)
WV – Barnhardt 16 run (kick blocked)
WV – Daniel 15 pass from Sedesse (Miller kick)
WV – Trevor Whelski 15 run (Miller kick)
Rushes-yds 32-113 35-214
Passing 4-13-2 4-9-0
Passing yds 16 139
Total offense 129 353
1st downs 5 12
Penalties 5-50 5-36
Turnovers 5 1
RUSHING: TV: Blake Bowman 19-75; Dalton Miller 10-36; Hunter Harner 2-4; Tyler Lucas 1-minus-2. WV: Cole Barnhardt 21-163 3 TD; Trevor Whelski 10-42 TD; Owen Daniel 1-4; Brandon Bohr 2-5; Matt Miller 1-0.
PASSING: TV: Miller 2-10-2-5; Bowman 1-2-0-4; Harner 1-1-0-7. WV: Stephen Sedesse 4-9-0-139 3 TD.
RECEIVING: TV: Harner 2-5; Tanner Coleman 1-4; TEAM 1-7*. WV: Daniel 3-105 3 TD; Codie Miller 1-34.
* = No player w/ jersey No. 15 appears on Tri-Valley’s roster posted on Maxpreps.com. If we receive note who the player is, we will accordingly update his name in the box score.
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