COLUMBIA, SC — Spring Valley ran wild at Harry Parone Stadium on Friday night.
In the regular-season finale against Region 4-4A rival Richland Northeast, John Miller rushed for 116 yards and three touchdowns on 15 carries, while Desmond Poole tallied 101 yards on 12 carries as the Vikings blew away the Cavaliers, 58-14.
“This helps us get started in the playoffs, and hopefully that momentum will carry us some,” Spring Valley coach Miles Aldridge said. The playoff seedings will be determined by points once all the regular-season games are complete.
“There are so many variables that I’m going to wait ’till tomorrow morning to find out,” Aldridge said about the Vikings’ final standings.
Richland Northeast (5-6, 1-4) limped through a tough region slate after a 4-2 start to the season.
The Cavaliers fought back to tie the game at 14 just before the half but couldn’t find a way to stop the Vikings (8-3, 3-2).
“It seemed like we just collapsed in the second half and sort of lost our composure,” Richland Northeast coach Jay Frye said. “They put their No. 6 (Miller, who started at quarterback) at halfback, and he made a bunch of big plays. They beat us on special teams and made some big punt returns.
The Cavaliers also were hindered by not having starting quarterback A.C. Whaley under center, Frye said.
“Even so, my hat’s off to them, they’re a heck of a football team,” Frye said.
Craishaud Foulks was the only highlight for the Cavaliers as he tallied seven catches for 125 yards and a touchdown. Foulks made two catches for 9 yards in the second half, a testament to the Spring Valley defense.
The Vikings’ defense held Richland Northeast to 1 yard on the ground in the second half and 39 rushing yards on the night. Spring Valley limited the Cavaliers to 192 yards of offense.
“We knew it was there, and we came out and proved it this time,” Aldridge said about his team’s effort.
Spring Valley jumped to a 14-0 lead with a pair of Malik Wilson touchdown runs, the first from 4 yards out and the second from 23.
On the next drive, Richland Northeast quarterback Ryan Howell found Foulks inside the Spring Valley 10. Foulks wrestled the ball away from two Spring Valley defenders and cart wheeled his way into the end zone for a 54-yard touchdown pass late in the first quarter.
Four Craishaud Foulks catches sparked the Cavaliers’ next scoring drive, which Shamar Foulks ended with a 1-yard TD run that tied the game at 14 with 5:23 to go in the first half.
Kicker Cooper Gresham’s 23-yard field goal gave the Vikings a 17-14 lead at the half.
The Vikings didn’t let the Cavaliers any closer.
Miller opened the second half with a 12-yard touchdown. Soon after, Josh Harlan blocked a Sam Lourie punt in the end zone for a safety to go up 25-14 at the end of three quarters.
The Vikings added two more scores from Miller, as well as Donovan Palmer’s 41-yard fumble return and Dominique Taylor’s 40-yard punt return for a TD to put the game away.
S – Wilson 4 run (Gresham kick) 7:35
S – Wilson 23 run (Gresham kick) 3:19
R – C. Foulks 54 pass from Howell (Lourie kick) 1:17
R – Washington 1 run (Lourie kick) 5:23
S – Gresham 23 field goal. 1:44
S – Miller 12 run (kick failed) 3:48
S – Safety. 1:40
S –Miller 1 run (Gresham kick) 11:57
S – Miller 40 run (Gresham kick) 9:56
S – Palmer 41 fumble return (kick failed) 7:02
S – Lee 3 run (kick failed) 4:38
S – Taylor 40 punt return (Gresham kick) 1:59
RUSHING: RNE, Washington 15-40, Howell 7-(-1), S. Foulks 1-1, C. Foulks 1-1, Blunt 2-2. Spring Valley, Miller 15-116, Poole 12-101, Wilson 6-38, Wells 3-5, Brown 1-12, Adams 2-39, Evans 1-4, Koon 1-0.
PASSING: RNE, Howell 19-9-1. Spring Valley, Miller 2-1-0, Adams 0-0-0.
RECEIVING: RNE, C. Foulks 7-125, S. Foulks 1-13, Washington 1-15. Spring Valley, Taylor 1-15.