TORONTO - A strong second half effort on both sides of the football prompted Toronto's first win of the season, 28-14, against Valley Friday at Clark Hinkle Field.
"We felt we had to run the ball inside tonight," Toronto head coach Eric Meek started. "(Steubenville Catholic) Central did a great job last week taking our outside run away. Valley tried to do the same thing to us this week. We got the ball up the middle. And once they moved down to stop that then we hit the big pass.
"We had to stop them. Our goal was to keep their big kid to two yards per carry instead of three- or four- yard chucks each time he carried the ball. That's what we were able to do."
READY TO GO IN TORONTO — Toronto center Zach Price prepares to snap the ball to quarterback Blaze Glenn during the first half of Friday’s 28-14 over visiting Valley.
-- Mike Mathison
The Red Knights now sit 1-4 and face Bellaire St. John Sept. 29.
"We get an extra day of practice," Meek said. "They are a much improved team. We have to be ready to go."
Valley pounded its way to a 14-6 halftime advantage primarily by riding its 305-pound fullback Spencer Mason. Mason rumbled to 57 yards and a touchdown during the first half of play. Toronto simply couldn't bring down the massive runner with two or even three tacklers.
Toronto 28, Valley 14
Valley 7 7 0 0 - 14
Toronto 6 0 14 7 - 28
V: Streets 24 run (Palmer kick)
T: Solomon 3 run (pass failed)
V: Mason 1 run (Palmer kick)
T: C.Glenn 13 run (Chadwick pass from B. Glenn)
T: C.Glenn 1 run (kick failed)
T: B.Glenn 78 run (Chadwick pass from B. Glenn)
RUSHING: Valley 40-181-2x (Mason 23-92-1, Streets 11-62-1, Midcap 1-27, Bates 3-12, Kocher 2-0); Toronto 35-278-4x (B.Glenn 13-164-1, C.Glenn 18-99-2, Ross 3-12, Solomon 1-3-1).
PASSING: Valley 1-8-14-0-2 (all by Streets); Toronto 11-14-135-0-0 (all by B.Glenn).
RECEIVING: Valley (Hubbard 1-14); Toronto (Stewart 8-88, Chadwick 3-47).
FIRST DOWNS: Valley 13; Toronto 18
PENALTIES: Valley 4-16; Toronto 11-102
FUMBLES: Valley 3/2; Toronto 2/1
Toronto managed a Billy Solomon touchdown in the first half, but the Lumberjacks held Eric Meek's squad in check for the most part. The tide began to turn when the Red Knights came onto the field in the second half.
"They moved us forward in the first half," Meek stated. "They kept us to three possessions. The second half we got physical. It was the first time all year defensively that we played football."
A Chez Glenn return to the 48-yard line on the opening kickoff got Toronto started on the right foot.
Three plays was all it took for the Red Knights to score their second touchdown.
It started innocently enough. Chez Glenn opened the drive with a three-yard run. Toronto finally opened up the passing attack with a 36-yard strike on a sprint left from Blaze Glenn to Joey Chadwick. On first-and-10 from the 13-yard line, Chez Glenn took a simple handoff and two jump cuts later he was in the endzone.
Toronto trailed 14-12 and attempted a two point conversion. Blaze Glenn took the snap and rolled to his right. Valley clogged the passing lanes. Blaze Glenn then quickly whipped the ball across his body to a darting Chadwick. The receiver reached back and over his head to snag the ball for a successful conversion. Toronto tied the scored 14-14 with 10:45 remaining in the third quarter.
Blaze Glenn then turned the tables on Valley from his safety position.
The Lumberjacks didn't pass the ball often - only eight times in total - but during the ensuing drive after Toronto's tying score, Blaze Glenn snatched an interception to quickly give the ball back to Toronto. It proved crucial, because the Red Knights scored the go-ahead touchdown after the turnover.
Toronto's third scoring drive started at its 39-yard line. Blaze Glenn completed a quick pass to Stewart. Blaze and Chez Glenn then traded carries to get the Ride Knights to Valley's 35-yard line. Stewart managed an 18-yard reception for Toronto to keep the drive alive on third-and-long. The drive ended with a one yard Chez Glenn touchdown plunge.
Glenn finished the game with 99 yards rushing and two touchdowns.
Toronto led 20-14 after a failed conversion, but it wasn't quite finished on the offensive end. Blaze Glenn would strike again.
Valley nearly came back after driving the football to Toronto's 1-yard line. On fourth-and-goal, Valley's big fullback lost his footing at the one-yard line and didn't cross the goalline. Mason managed only 23 rushing yards in the second half.
Toronto made a terrific goalline stand, but it was 99 yards away from the opponent's endzone. It didn't prove too hard to overcome.
The Red Knights managed one first down to start the series. Blaze Glenn then rolled to his right on second-and-six from the 22-yard line, but no on was open in which to throw the football. Blaze Glenn decided to tuck the football and run. He cut against the grain of Valley's pursuit and lived up to his name by scorching the defense for a 78-yard touchdown scamper. Blaze Glenn tallied 164 rushing yards once his day was complete.
Blaze Glenn again found Chadwick in the back of the endzone for a successful two-point conversion. Toronto led 28-14, and Valley was never able to mount any more offense.
"He's running the offense well," Meek complimented. "We've talked previously about turnovers, but he's a young kid.
"He's doing well."