The Valley Central football team was never able to get into a rhythm while the Vikings’ defense kept them close.
However, the Washingtonville Wizards posted a pair of second-half touchdowns to put the game out of reach, as they spoiled the Vikings’ Homecoming with a 21-0 win on Friday night at Valley Central High School.
“We just couldn’t get into a rhythm together,” Valley Central coach Andrew LaVallie said. “We know we’re a team that’s got to put a few plays together to string a drive together and we beat ourselves in the foot a couple of times and just couldn’t string anything together.”
While the offense was struggling, the defense was keeping the Vikings in the game. They allowed a touchdown on an 11-yard touchdown pass from Washingtonville quarterback Kai Bohunicky to Tsai Kinsberry, giving the Wizards a 7-0 lead.
The score was set up by a 52-yard run by Washingtonville’s Nick Ascenzo.
Bohunicky also connected with Sean Davis on a 66-yard touchdown deep pass to give the Wizards a 14-0 lead in the third quarter. They added a fourth quarter score on a 3-yard run by Bohunicky.
“We knew coming in they were going to be a ground team and once they couldn’t run the ball, they were going to throw it,” LaVallie said. “A little coverage mistake here and once they came out with the option, we figured out how we were going to break this down.”
Early on, the Vikings had things figured out on the defensive line as they were able to bottle up the inside. Kaiden Simmons shone early, making several key tackles, and recovered a fumble in the second quarter.
“Kaiden has been working hard since last year and Kaiden has been a dominant force for us, along with his bash brother Payton Brunner, who broke his nose in the game and still played and still grinded,” LaVallie said. “Those two guys are great in the middle for us.”
The Vikings had their best opportunity to score late in the first quarter after stuffing the Wizards on a fake punt. Taking over on the Wizards’ 44-yard line, a pass interference penalty against the Wizards got them to the 34, and an 18-yard pass from Viking quarterback Matthew Bond hit Lance Griffin with a 17-yard pass to the Wizards’ 17.
However, the drive ended on a fumble at the Wizards’ 14.
The Vikings got the ball back on their own 13-yard line after Simmons’ fumble recovery and put together their best drive. Where the Wizards were unsuccessful on a fake punt, the Vikings were successful as on fourth down from their own 41, Danny Latimer took a direct snap 32 yards to the Wizards’ 21-yard line.
However, the drive stalled on the Washingtonville 14.
It was the first Section 9 Class A Division I game for both teams. The Vikings will visit the Wallkill Panthers on Friday night in the annual Battle of the Valley. The game will have a new wrinkle this year as it will be a divisional game. The Panthers were a Division 2 team last year but were moved to Division I after Class A expanded.
“Offensively, we have to see if we need to move some players around and then see ultimately how this week goes,” LaVallie said. “It’s the middle of the season so it’s early.”