MIDLAND VALLEY 33, GILBERT 14
GRANITVEVILLE - Midland Valley forced seven turnovers in a 33-14 homecoming win over Gilbert Friday night, rudely welcoming the Indians to Region 5-AAA play. The Mustangs have now won back-to-back games after ending a 10-game losing streak a week ago.
"They made some mistakes and it led to some scores for us," Midland Valley coach Rick Knight said. "We were very fortunate."
Slow starters a week ago in a win over Baptist Hill, the Mustangs (2-4, 1-0 Region 5-AAA) led Gilbert 12-0 after the first quarter. Midland Valley's special teams were major contributors to the quick start. Quincey Pressley recovered a muffed punt after Midland Valley's opening drive stalled, then a roughing the kicker penalty extended a touchdown drive in the second quarter. Pressley added an interception and recovered a second muffed punt later in the game.
Gilbert's (2-4, 0-1 Region 5-AAA) offense barely saw the field in the opening frame, running only eight plays against a stingy Mustangs defense. The Indians' first official drive of the game ended in a turnover on downs after they could not advance a fumbled option pitch.
Daniel Carr, Midland Valley's dynamic freshman quarterback, completed 12 of 17 passes for 89 yards while rushing for 113 yards on 15 carries. Carr totaled three touchdowns on the evening, the most spectacular was a sizzling 56-yard jaunt on a busted play with just over a minute to play in the first half. After taking the snap, Carr spun to his right and galloped past the Gilbert defense.
"We just didn't want them to get the ball again before half," Knight said of the late scoring drive, "and we fortunately got a couple of first downs and then he made a big run."
Indians running back Omar Bethea found his rhythm in the second quarter, chugging along to 95 yards on 14 carries before halftime. His 9-yard touchdown run with 2:45 before intermission put Gilbert on the scoreboard and cut Midland Valley's lead to 19-7. Bethea finished the evening with 124 yards on 23 carries.
Midland Valley's defense harassed Gilbert quarterback Mitch Spires nearly every time he dropped back to pass, picking him off four times. He rushed for 61 yards and a touchdown but couldn't overcome the interceptions.
"We hadn't had an interception all year, and we got four tonight," Knight said. "And we dropped a couple other ones."
Pressley and Michael Herndon each recorded interceptions in the first half that led to Midland Valley scoring drives. Noah Williamson's fourth quarter interception return to the 2-yard line set up a Derrick O'Conner touchdown run, and Xavier Leaphart's remarkable one-handed pick in the waning minutes capped off a big night for the defense.
Midland Valley will look to stretch its win streak to three games when it hosts undefeated Swansea next Friday night.
G 0 7 0 7 - 14
MV 12 14 0 7 - 33SCORING SUMMARY
First QuarterMV-Daniel Carr 4 run (kick failed) 6:31
MV-Daniel Carr 10 pass to Jaysen Jones (conversion failed) 1:18Second QuarterMV-Dre Carr 3 run (Ben Padgett kick) 7:14
G-Omar Bethea 9 run (Dylan Amick kick) 2:45
MV-Daniel Carr 56 run (Padgett kick) 1:20Fourth QuarterG-Mitch Spires 13 run (Amick kick) 8:34
MV-Derrick O'Conner 2 run (Padgett kick) 4:05INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS
RUSHINGG-Omar Bethea 23-124-1, Mitch Spires 14-61-1, Mason Cox 2-37. Totals 39-222-2.
MV-Dre Carr 24-127-1, Daniel Carr 15-113-2, Derrick O'Conner 7-41-1, Trenton Baughman 2-6. Totals 48-287-4.PASSINGG-Mitch Spires 7-23-83-4INT
MV-Daniel Carr 12-17-89-1TD.RECEIVINGG-Raymond Padgett 2-26, Christopher Dyer 2-22, Omar Bethea 1-16, Dylan Amick 1-14, Cameron Twitty 1-5. Totals 7-83.
MV-Jaysen Jones 2-32-1, Christian Beecher 4-22, Kameron Brown 4-16, Justin Mealing 1-13, Dre Carr 1-6. Totals 12-89-1.INTERCEPTIONSMV-Michael Herndon, Xavier Leaphart, Quincey Pressley, Noah Williamson.
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