Wolves spring into AAA quarters with 77-7 win
SPRING VALLEY — Spring Valley and Spring Mills each have “Spring” in their school names.
That was about all the teams had in common in their first-round matchup Friday night in the Class AAA playoffs.
No. 2 Spring Valley used its size advantage and aggressive defense to power past the attempted aerial attack of No. 15 Spring Mills 77-7 in a muddy domination at the Wolves Den.
“Conditions didn’t faze us tonight,” Spring Valley head coach Brad Dingess said. “I thought we still looked sharp and looked fast. We stayed versatile and powered it up, spread it out, and our defense played really well. We got a lot of pressure and covered in the back end.”
Spring Valley (11-0) hosts Huntington High (8-3) in the Class AAA quarterfinals next week at the Wolves Den. Time and date will be determined Sunday morning.
The Timberwolves were dominant in all phases, showing the same precision that led them to an undefeated regular season.
Spring Valley forced four first-half turnovers, got three touchdown passes from Will Adkins and rushed for 241 yards in the first half en route to a 56-7 halftime advantage. Adkins finished the game 6 of 8 for 128 yards and three scores.
Graeson Malashevich finished with five total touchdowns, scoring two rushing, two receiving and one on a 62-yard punt return on a night when he accounted for 274 total yards.
Malashevich had three first-half scores and also saw eight of nine first-half touches go for 10 yards or more with the lone touch under 10 yards being a 4-yard scoring run. Malashevich’s run came after the Timberwolves got a short field on a big return from Owen Chafin, which came off a free kick after Cody Sharp’s pressure ended in an intentional grounding call in the end zone.
In addition to the big return, Chafin had a pair of touchdown runs (4 and 34 yards) while rushing for 94 yards in just over one half of work. Howard rushed for a 7-yard score and 58 yards in the half while Cody Stanley — normally a lineman — went into the jumbo package and had a 2-yard scoring run.
Less than two minutes into the game, it looked as though there was potential for a shootout, as both teams found the end zone.
Spring Valley opened the game with a 37-yard touchdown pass from Adkins to Nate Ellis, and Spring Mills fired right back with a 67-yard touchdown strike from Keon Padmore-Johnson to Rohan Parchment to knot the score at 7-7.
However, it would be the only offense the Cardinals would muster in the first half as the Timberwolves took over, forcing four turnovers and limiting any semblance of offense for Spring Mills.
Despite the 67-yard score, Spring Mills finished with 46 total yards on 28 plays in the opening two quarters.
Padmore-Johnson, a 5-foot-6, 137-pound sophomore quarterback, was running for safety from the start of the game as the defensive line of Spring Valley overpowered the Cardinals’ offensive front. Padmore-Johnson completed just 4 of 15 passes with three interceptions in the first half.
“We just controlled the line of scrimmage tonight,” Dingess said. “There are things we worked on and we did a good job of spreading things out. Will looked good and spread it to different receivers, and our young kids played well in the second half.”
Padmore-Johnson was 5 of 18 for 60 yards in the loss, which ended the Cardinals’ season at 5-6. It was Spring Mills’ fifth consecutive appearance in the Class AAA postseason.
Hank Hinchman of the Timberwolves capped the scoring with a 14-yard touchdown run with just under five minutes left.