Spring Valley overcame a series of early miscues to bury South Aiken, spoiling homecoming and extending the Thoroughbreds’ losing streak to 15 games with a 35-21 football victory Friday night at the Stomping Grounds.
The Vikings (5-0) led by a touchdown at intermission before dominating the second half behind their power rushing attack. Spring Valley rolled up 261 yards on the ground.
South Aiken (0-6) was paced by senior DeAndre Schoultz, who rushed for 110 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries. He also added six receptions for 104 yards.
“(Schoultz) ran hard,” Spring Valley coach Miles Aldridge said. “You know where he is at all times because he’s a very dangerous player.”
Aldridge also praised the heart of South Aiken quarterback Will Holbrook, who stood tough in the pocket despite being repeatedly battered by the Vikings’ defense. Holbrook finished 9-for-19 for 135 yards and an interception.
The T-Breds defense appeared poised to make a stop to send the game to halftime tied at 14, forcing Spring Valley into a third and long at the South Aiken 15-yard line. But the Vikings delivered a crushing blow on the final play of the first half, with quarterback Chris Adams finding a wide open Bernard Whitmore in the end zone for a touchdown.
“I was actually hollering ‘Throw it away, throw it away’ so I could kick the field goal,” Aldridge said. “We were fortunate. Like I told our kids at halftime, we were lucky to be up 21-14. But we were, and we needed to come out and play better in the second half.”
The Vikings held South Aiken scoreless in the second half until an Adam Allen 1-yard touchdown run with 55 seconds left in the game.
It looked as though South Aiken’s first-quarter woes would continue when Holbrook fumbled near midfield after being sacked on the T-Breds’ second drive. An illegal forward pass on the fumble return negated a Viking touchdown and moved the ball back to the South Aiken 41-yard line, but they would not remain scoreless for long. It took Spring Valley two plays to score, giving the Vikings a 7-0 lead that also gave South Aiken’s opponents a 103-0 advantage over the T-Breds in the first quarter this season.
South Aiken brought that streak to an end a few minutes later, with Holbrook’s 1-yard plunge knotting the score and giving the T-Breds their first points in the opening frame this year. Schoultz rushed for 52 yards on the drive, 45 of them coming on two consecutive carries to put South Aiken in scoring position.
The Vikings offense quickly got back to work. Spring Valley ran at the heart of the South Aiken defense, gashing the T-Breds for big yardage up the middle, before a 29-yard scoring sprint from John Miller gave the Vikings the lead again at 14-7. Miller was Spring Valley’s home run threat, racking up 136 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries. He added a 25-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter.
South Aiken’s second touchdown drive nearly ended before it started. A Holbrook pass appeared to be intercepted deep in Spring Valley territory but was ruled incomplete. Two Holbrook completions moved the T-Breds into the red zone. Schoultz then took an option pitch, shook off several Vikings defenders, and raced into the end zone from 15 yards out to once again tie the score.
Miller’s halfback pass put Spring Valley up 28-14 in the third quarter and another score with 3:31 to play put the game out of reach.
SV - Chris Adams 45 pass to Dominique Taylor (Karsten Beaman kick) 6:11
SA - Will Holbrook 1 run (Owen Myers kick) 2:09
SV - John Miller 29 run (Beaman kick) 11:16
SA - DeAndre Schoultz 15 run (Myers kick) 2:09
SV - Adams 15 pass to Bernard Whitmore (Beaman kick) 0:00
SV - Miller 25 pass to Ryan Lee (Beaman kick) 3:38
SV - Desmond Poole 3 run (Beaman kick) 3:31
SA - Adam Allen 1 run (Myers kick) 0:55