Thursday, October 12, 2017
Spring Valley High School
River Bluff High School
In a game where River Bluff’s JV team seemed outmanned, a closer look might reveal a lack of execution on key plays as a significant contributor to their lopsided defeat at the hands of a talented Spring Valley team.
The size and athleticism of the Vikings were on display Thursday night in The Swamp, with Spring Valley combining grinding running and tough defense with the ability to capitalize on special teams mistakes and favorable field position.
Still, there were moments when River Bluff’s run game produced positive results. The inability to sustain their progress, though, caused many of the Gators’ possessions to falter. Often, it seemed the right play was called, but a lack of execution – a dropped pass, a missed block, a missed target, a missed tackle for a loss, an errant snap, etc. – would halt any progress that had been made. The Vikings can certainly be credited with causing some of that, too, however. Plus, a team of the caliber of Spring Valley doesn’t need to be given any breaks, as they will definitely take advantage of any that come their way. This proved true Thursday night as the Vikings took the River Bluff miscues along with their own impressive drives to beat the Gators handily 36-6.
River Bluff’s JV team will take the drive across the dam next Thursday, October 19th for the season finale at Irmo. Kickoff against the Yellowjackets is scheduled for 7:00 PM, immediately following the B-team game.
Spring Valley scored first, scooping up a blocked punt on the River Bluff 24 and running it in for a touchdown. The PAT was good, giving the Vikings a quick 7-0 lead.
Punting woes plagued the Gators again when a 4th down snap sailed over the head of the Gator punter deep inside their own territory. In an effort to prevent another scoop and score, River Bluff’s punter reached the ball first and booted it out of the back of the end zone, giving the Vikings 2 points on the resulting safety.
Spring Valley returned the ensuing kick nearly back to midfield. A few big plays later, the Vikings found the end zone again. The extra point try failed, though, due to a fumbled snap.
At the end of 1, Spring Valley had a 15-0 lead over the Gators.
On their first drive of the second quarter, River Bluff ended up punting from their own end zone, giving the ball to Spring Valley on the Gator 32 yard line. The Vikings capitalized on good field position yet again, this time on a quarterback keeper. The PAT was good, giving Spring Valley a 22-0 lead.
River Bluff was finally able to put a nice drive together and penetrated inside the Spring Valley 20. After calling a timeout, the Gators came out and attempted a halfback pass that just missed the mark in the end zone. On the very next play, Spring Valley was able to recover a fumble caused by pressure on the quarterback and put a halt to River Bluff’s first threatening drive of the game.
Not skipping a beat, the Vikings connected on a 56 yard pass from their own 32 to the River Bluff 12 yard line. From there, another pass found an open receiver in the back of the end zone for a Viking touchdown. The extra point gave Spring Valley a commanding 29-0 lead as the half came to an end.
The Gators were finally able to find pay dirt in the third quarter, taking advantage of a long pass play down to the Viking 35 and a 4th and 3 conversion along the way. The PAT was no good, but River Bluff was on the board, trailing Spring Valley 29-6.
Spring Valley squelched any thoughts of a comeback River Bluff, riding the momentum of their scoring drive, may have had, though, when they drove the field and punched the ball into the end zone for yet another score. The successful extra point try extended their lead to 36-6.
Punts and penalties ruled the 4th quarter, as neither team scored again. Spring Valley kneeled inside River Bluff territory to run out the clock, coming away as the victors 36-6.