SELLERSBURG — Under the setting sun of a warm August afternoon and in front of a capacity crowd, Silver Creek did something it had only done once since the early 1940’s: played a home varsity football game.
The importance of the game for the host Dragons was lost on Springs Valley quarterback Levi Weddle and the Blackhawks, as they posted a solid 46-29 win over the Dragons on Friday.
The second varsity squad to play for the school since 1942 looked to improve on their 0-10 record from the 2011 campaign and started that effort well, matching a strong Blackhawk squad drive-for-drive in a scoreless first quarter before allowing an impressive Springs Valley run game to get into the end zone midway through the second quarter.
The 48-yard drive was capped off by an 11-yard quarterback keeper from Weddle and a successful two-point conversion pass from Weddle to Trenton Hill that gave the Blackhawks a 8-0 lead with just over four minutes to go until the half.
Silver Creek was quick to answer and scored on a 27-yard lob from junior quarterback Brooks Howell to Drew Sherrow. The duo also worked together to get the two-point conversion to knot the game up at 8 with 1:51 to go in the opening half.
Silver Creek was then dealt the duty of trying to slow down Weddle and the high-power run game of Springs Valley, a task almost completed as they held Weddle to three consecutive incomplete passes inside the Dragons’ 15-yard line before Weddle finally connected with Jacob Nachreiner with under 10 seconds to go in the half. Weddle capped off the score with a quarterback keeper for the two-point conversion to give his team a 16-8 lead at the half.
Weddle had accumulated 111 yards in the first 24 minutes of play, giving Silver Creek head coach Mike Donahue a monster target to stop in the second half.
“I think the only way we could have stopped him was with a linebacker key. [Weddle] sneezes, the key sneezes,” Donahue explained.
The halftime break did not break the momentum as Weddle and the Blackhawks made a quick strike on the opening drive of the third quarter, burning almost half of the period with a drive that was capped with a Weddle 1-yard run. A quarterback keep on the ensuing two-point conversion gave Springs Valley some breathing room with a 24-8 lead.
Not to be knocked out easily, the Dragons got a burst of speed from Layne Taylor, taking the kickoff to the house on a 65-yard sprint, followed by a two-point conversion from Howell to Sherrow set the score at 24-16.
That gave the ball back to a seemingly unstoppable Weddle and the Blackhawks, who needed about another 90 seconds for Weddle to drive into the end zone on a 2-yard keeper. A successful 2-point conversion gave Springs Valley a 32-16 lead with 5:03 to go in the third quarter.
The Dragons only needed another two minutes of clock to answer the score. Romney Allen capped the drive with a 4-yard run, but the two-point conversion failed and it was 32-22 Springs Valley.
“I don’t think it changed anything for us.” Donahue said. “I think it could have changed things mentally to go in (at the half) tied.”
The speed and power of Weddle and the Springs Valley offense carried the momentum to open the final frame. The Blackhawks march methodically down the field, wearing down the clock and the Silver Creek defense to tack on another eight points on an eight-yard toss from Weddle to Hill. Weddle kept on the successful two-point conversion and the Blackhawks put the Dragons in a 40-22 hole.
The ensuing drive gave Howell and Taylor a chance to answer, which they did on a 21-yard connection, which was followed by the only point-after kick of the night, a successful kick from Trevor Spense with 7:12 remaining in the game. The score cut the deficit to 11 at 40-29.
But Weddle and crew still weren’t done, capping a clock-eating drive with a nine-yard keeper from Weddle to push the Springs Valley lead back up to 17 with 1:14 to go in the game.
In the end, Springs Valley posted a total of 411 rushing yards, most of which could be attributed to Weddle, who also had 56 yards through the air.
Silver Creek was led in passing by Brooks Howell with 134 yards, including two touchdowns.
The Dragons posted 208 yards on the ground, led by Taylor.
The Dragons (0-1) open Mid-Southern Conference play next Friday at Salem, which is 0-1 after a 35-0 loss to Paoli on Friday.
SPRINGS VALLEY 46, SILVER CREEK 29
Springs Valley (1-0) 0 16 16 14—46
Silver Creek (0-1) 0 8 6 15—29
SV — Levi Weddle 11 run (Trenton Hill pass from Weddle)
SC — Drew Sherrow 11 pass from Brooks Howell (Sherrow pass from Howell)
SV — Jacob Nachreiner 15 pass from Weddle (Weddle run)
SV — Weddle 1 run (Weddle run)
SC — Taylor 65 kickoff return (Sherrow from Howell)
SV — Weddle 2 run (Weddle run)
SC — Allen 4 run (Conversion failed)
SV — Hill 8 pass from Weddle (Weddle run)
SC — Taylor 21 pass from Howell (Spense kick)
SV — Weddle 9 run (kick failed)