Tioga County Sports Report for Penn York Valley





SECTION IV FOOTBALL: BIG-PLAY NEWARK VALLEY RUNS AWAY FROM SVEC (2019-10-05)

BY TIM TAYLOR
Tioga County Sports Report
NEWARK VALLEY — It was  a game of big plays — well, half a game of big plays — as Newark Valley rolled to a 33-6 Homecoming victory over SVEC in Section IV Division III action here Saturday afternoon.

After faltering on their opening drive, the Cardinals found the end zone on their next five possessions to build the 27-point cushion which would hold up through the game's final 30 minutes.

"Our kids came out of the gate with a lot of energy, made some big plays to start the game and were able to, a couple times when we had a little bit adversity, overcome and keep the big lead," said NV head coach Ted Hardenstine.


What would prove to be the game-winning touchdown came on NV's second possession when  quarterback Mike Wandell executed a flawless option pitch to Caden Bennett, who dashed 54 yards down the Newark Valley sideline for the first TD of the day. Dawson Moncalieri's PAT kick at 5:35 gave the Cardinals a 7-0 advantage.

Following an Eagles' three-and-out, NV would take just four plays to reach paydirt again. This time, it was Raidyn Ford on a sweep down the SVEC sideline for 61 yards. The PAT made it 14-0 with 2:55 left in the first quarter.

"It's tough, because they score so quick like that on those big plays," SVEC head coach Mike Chaffee said. "They scored on a dive and an option play when they run 60, 70 yards and they take the wind out of your sail. It's tough motivating your kids to come back and respond to that."  

On the Eagles' next possession, Bennett would intercept a Matthew Byrne pass at the SVEC 34 and return it inside the 10, but a penalty would push it back to the 25. The flag was a mere formality as Bennett scored from a yard out five plays later and Moncalieri's foot made it a 21-0 cushion with 46.3 seconds left in the period.

"That's really what hurt us today," Chaffee said of NV's big-play opportunities. "Those things, they take your breath away. They take everything out of you, so we've got to learn to be able to respond to that stuff and there's some things we're going to have to work on."

The big-play aura would transfer over to the Eagles briefly on their next possession as James Sutherlin capped a 4-play, 61-yard drive with a 30-yard scoring run while carrying the ball three times for 59 yards. The PAT kick was blocked, leaving the score 21-6 just nine seconds into the second period.

However, it didn't take long for the momentum to swing back in NV's favor as Bennett bolted 84 yards with the ensuing kickoff. The PAT run failed and Newark Valley was up, 27-6, at 11:38 of the quarter.

SVEC moved the ball 47 yards to the NV 8 in 12 plays on its next possession, but sputtered and turned the ball over on downs at the 20. On the very next play, Wandell found tight end Jake Armstrong wide open on the Cardinal sideline for an 80-yard TD strike. The kick was blocked, but the home team was sitting on a 33-6 cushion with 6:03 to go in the half.

"It's kind of been a lot of what we've done this year. We've been really explosive," Hardenstine said. "We've been fortunate, especially the last couple of weeks, to run the ball successfully enough to open up the passing game even more and I that continued with what we saw today a little bit."

A holding penalty hurt SVEC on its next possession and a high snap over Wandell's head proved to be detrimental to NV's next drive. Ford would follow up with a pick of a Byrne pass at his own 40, but a hold against the Cardinals spoiled any chance of adding more points before intermission.

The Eagles performed a 180 defensively in the second half. 

"We challenged them at halftime to come out here and play better on the defensive side of the ball and we didn't let them score in the second half," Chaffee said. "We did play a much better game. I'm proud of our kids not going in the tank in the second half. They came out fired up and they were ready to play the second half of football. 

"That's one thing we haven't done this year, besides the Moravia game. We haven't put a full game together. We either come out hot and finish cold or we come out cold and finish better. We've got to be able to put four quarters together and play from start to finish."


In the third quarter, Newark Valley had a 48-yard Wandell-to-Armstrong TD pass nullified by a penalty, then Nash Whitmore picked Wandell off three plays later.

SVEC's Parker Sexton recovered a Newark Valley fumble in the red zone, but a flag for an illegal block three plays later pushed the ball back to the NV 37 and the Eagles were unable to bounce back.

SVEC also drew a 15-yard penalty and lost 10 yards on a fumble, which helped stalled their first two drives of the third quarter. 

The Cardinals were also flagged for offensive pass interference late in the third and for defensive pass interference early in the fourth. The team that had given up 20 yards on two penalties in the first half was flagged eight times for 100 yards after the break.


"They had some opportunities with short fields and our defense was able to step up, so from a defensive standpoint, I'm really excited about that," Hardenstine said. 

"From an offensive standpoint, we got ourselves into too many bad situations. We had a lot of penalties in the second half that we have to clean up and try to fix, because it's a drive killer when you bet a big penalty that puts you in a long down and distance."

Still, NV dominated the offensive stat sheet for the day, racking up 449 yards to 166 for SVEC. 

Ford carried the ball 21 times for 182 yards and Bennett rushed 14 times for 104 more. Wandell was 2-for-9 passing for 90 yards with Armstrong catching one pass for 80 yards.

Sutherlin rushed 15 times for 110 yards and had one reception for 15 yards.

He finished with 140 total yards while Bennett ended up with 189 total yards.

"We continue to have great play from Mike Wandell, our quarterback, making good decisions," Hardenstine said. "Caden Bennett had some nice plays. He had the nice pick for us early there on defense. I was happy with all of our runnings backs and I was really happy with our team defensive effort."

The SVEC passing game, which nearly pulled off a come-from-behind win here last year, struggled to find a groove this time around. Byrne was 5-for-21 for 23 yards and Sutherlin went 0-for-1.

"We need to run crisper routes and stay on our blocks," Chaffee said. 

SVEC (1-4, 0-1 Div. III) is still alive for a playoff spot, but could use a victory against WG / OM on Homecoming Friday at Candor. Technically, the Eagles could still win the division, although it's a longshot.

"Our goal of trying to have a division championship is still on the table for us. It's going to be a tight race all the way down. I think we have as good a chance as anybody, so our goal is still to try and win a division championship."

Newark Valley (2-3, 2-0) can clinch the division title with a win over Dryden (3-2, 0-0) at home Saturday. 

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IN PHOTO 1: Newark Valley's Josh Duke and SVEC's Parker Sexton (24). ... PHOTOS BY TIM TAYLOR.


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