Many coaches will tell you stats don’t matter, but they know wins and player development are part of the job. But when a running back is just short of a 1,000 yards for the season, there is a little incentive to break that milestone.
Senior running back Drew Gray was 100 yards shy of hitting 1,000 yards heading into this evening’s game against Lincoln. Gray needed only two series to break that threshold, scoring on the Tigers’ first two drives, en route to a 62-0 win at Valley Stadium Friday night.
Gray capped a 6-play, 72 yard drive, with a 6-yard touchdown run, and would add a 4 yard score on the next drive. Gray would finish the night with 12 carries for 147 yards. Freshmen Javon Mason continued to turn heads with a 5 carry 38 yard night, with 29 of them coming on one play.
In the second quarter, Mr. Versatility, Blake Salsbury, would add a running and receiving touchdown to push the Tigers’ lead to 28-0. In a night featuring two underclassmen quarterbacks, the elder Rocky Lombardi (10-13, 242 yards) shined brighter, tossing three straight touchdown passes, two to Dominique Dafney (6 rec, 160 yards) and one to Salsbury as Valley took a 49-0 lead into halftime.
Lincoln was able to move the ball in the second half, but freshmen Will McElvain’s (20-38, 3 interceptions, 207 yards) pass was intercepted by the Tigers’ Turner Scott, and he weaves 80 yards for a pick-six. The Tigers ended the scoring with a 3-yard touchdown run by Jake Griffiths. Valley finished with 555 total yards, 302 on the ground. Darius Shumpert carried the ball 23 times for 80 yards and hauled in 8 receptions for 93 yards. Logan Garrels, fresh from a record performance versus Hoover last week, made 8 catches for 90 yards.
Lincoln finishes the season at 3-6, as Valley completes the season 8-1 and District 1 champions. Valley will learn of their 1st round opponent early Saturday morning.
Central Iowa Sports Network will provide audio only coverage of the Valley Tigers’ beginning Wednesday night, starting a 6:50 pm on CentralIowaSportsNetwork.com. Paul Yeager, Dar Danielsen, and Keith Borness, and Jim Kirby will have the call.