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HS FOOTBALL: Imhotep Charter Ends Valley View Run In PIAA Class 4A

November 24, 2018

SLATINGTON — Most fighting back tears, Valley View players walked off the rain-soaked turf and were received by a proud and passionate contingent of fans who braved the damp and cold afternoon. They showered the Cougars with applause, offered handshakes and hugs, thankful for the journey they had all been on since August. It came to an end on a dreary Saturday afternoon at Northern Lehigh’s Bulldog Stadium. Imhotep Charter, a star-studded team of explosive speedsters and big linemen, overmatched Valley View, 37-9, to advance in the PIAA Class 4A quarterfinals. It’s the second straight season the Panthers, who are ranked No. 1 in the state by Pennlive.com, eliminated Valley View. They will face District 11 champion Bethlehem Catholic in the semifinals next week. Valley View, the two-time District 2 Class 4A champion which entered the game as the No. 2 team in the state, finished with a 13-1 record, the second-best in program history. “This team has all the heart you could ever imagine,” Valley View senior running back Mason Kordish said. “I love all of my brothers. At the end of the day, it stinks that it has to end, but it does. “I still will always love this team.” Imhotep Charter (10-2) turned big plays into points and made Valley View pay for missed opportunities. Tykee Smith, a lightning-quick burner who is headed to West Virginia, had 170 yards rushing. He had a scoring burst of 87 yards and a run of 52 yards that set up another touchdown. Quarterback Jalen Sutton-Christian completed all six of his passes for 75 yards with two touchdowns before exiting with a leg injury in the third quarter. Dshaun Seals, a shifty scatback, darted through the secondary for a pair of touchdown receptions, then hit Yusuf Terry, who is headed to Baylor University, for a 47-yard touchdown pass. The Panthers had 424 yards of offense against a defense that yielded an average of 202 yards per game and gave up only 120 points this season. Valley View got 100 yards rushing from Kordish, who bounced in between the tackles behind solid blocking from an all-senior offensive line. Kordish finished the season with 1,822 yards rushing, “We really wanted to prove a point that we could compete with a big school like this,” Valley View senior guard E.J. Alco said. “They were good and they were fast, but we gave it our all.” Janaasah Boone had 61 yards passing, including a 20-yard scoring toss to tight end Dylan Howanitz in the fourth quarter. Boone also had 53 yards rushing. However, the Cougars lost a fumble and failed to convert on a fourth-down from the Imhotep Charter 13 and on a fake punt at midfield in a frustrating first half where they had only a Cam Ceccotti 27-yard field goal and 139 yards of offense on 37 plays. “We made some plays early, but we couldn’t get the ball in the end zone,” Valley View coach George Howanitz said. “Defensively, we gave up a couple of long plays that killed us. But, we stayed in it. “Our kids hung in there. That family atmosphere that we preach really showed up today.” Imhotep Charter jumped out to a 19-0 lead with 10:16 left in the second quarter. The Panthers ran only 13 plays and had 214 yards. First, Seals struck first on a 23-yard reception. Then, one play after the Cougars could not convert on a fourth-and-1 from the Imhotep Charter 13, Smith sprinted 87 yards for a score. Valley View reached midfield, but had a fake punt stopped 6 yards short of a first down. Three plays later Seals found Terry on a half-back option pass for a 47-yard score. Cain Bennett forced a fumble on a sack and Cyler Rozina recovered to set the Cougars up at the Imhotep 17. However, a series of negative plays and penalties led to a field goal by Ceccotti and a 19-3 halftime deficit. “The first couple of drives we just had a hard time,” Kordish said. “We tried to stay with it and thought we played hard through the second half.” Imhotep Charter slammed the door in the third quarter. Symear Williams, a 210-pound fullback, scored on an 11-yard run and Karam Cummings recovered a fumble on the Cougars’ third play. Seals caught a screen pass and dashed 16 yards for a score and a 37-3 lead with 5:13 left in the third. Valley View got into the end zone when Dylan Howanitz caught a 20-yard pass from Boone with 6:34 to play. “That just shows the character of our guys,” Dylan Howanitz said. “We didn’t want to let our seniors down. We knew this was their last quarter of their last game, so we really wanted to get into the end zone.” Contact the writer: jbfawcett@timesshamrock.com; @sportsTT on Twitter

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