HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — No. 4 Spring Valley secured a second straight trip to the Class AAA state championship game on Friday night, upending No. 1 and previously undefeated Huntington 10-7.
“Our defensive coordinator Frank Arthur did an awesome job putting together that defensive game plan and the kids executed well,” said Spring Valley coach Brad Dingess. “That was one of the most physical football games that I’ve ever been a part of. Owen Porter, for us, if he’s not one of the best football players in the state, I don’t know who is. He was a man tonight again.”
In a defensive battle throughout, Timberwolves (11-2) limited Huntington senior running back Jadon Hayes to just 22 yards rushing and a touchdown on the night.
“It was a big game,” said Spring Valley junior running back and defensive back Graeson Malashevich. “It was big for our community and for our program. We’re going to the state championship game in back-to-back years – that doesn’t happen very often. It’s a special group. We came out, played hard and got the job done.”
It was Isaac Howard scoring the lone touchdown for Spring Valley in the second quarter as the Timberwolves took a 7-0 lead into the break. Mitchell Hall’s 22-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter gave Spring Valley a 10-0 cushion before Hayes closed out the scoring with the Highlanders’ lone score.
“Both teams were playing hard and playing fast,” Malashevich said. “At that level in the semifinals, you know it’s going to be a physical ballgame. You can’t come into it thinking you aren’t going to get hit. This game was won up front, which we played well up front.”
Huntington (12-1) was limited to just 93 yards of total offense, while Spring Valley totaled 122 yards in the win.
Ohio State commit and offensive/defensive lineman Doug Nester had another big night up front for the Timberwolves as well.
“He played a heck of a game tonight,” Dingess said of Nester. “That was a war. You talk about that talent that was on the offensive and defensive lines tonight. He gritted it out in there and he had a big sack in the third quarter – that was a big time play by him. Those kids (on the line) played great tonight.”
Spring Valley will face either Martinsburg or Capital in the title game on Saturday, December 2 at noon from Wheeling Island Stadium.
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– Highlights are posted at the top of the page by Brent Osborne for WVMetroNews.com