John Miller scored four touchdowns to lead Spring Valley to a season-opening 48-8 rout of Lower Richland Friday at Harry Parone Stadium.
The senior running back finished with 80 yards on 15 carries and had three short scoring runs in addition to completing a hook-and-ladder scoring play that covered 49 yards.
Miller retired for the night after his 2-yard run staked the Vikings to a 27-0 lead at the 11:46 mark of the fourth quarter.
“I was hoping to get 100 yards, but I was starting to cramp up so the coaches didn’t want to take any chances,” Miller said.
“I guess we played all right on offense. We got off to a rough start, but (the hook-and-ladder) seemed to pick us up. We work a lot on that play in practice. We scored on it last year. The defense played great, and that kind of took the pressure off the offense until we got it together in the second half.”
In the end, Spring Valley piled up 284 yards rushing on 49 carries, finishing with 337 yards in all.
Quarterback Chris Adams was the team leader with 106 yards rushing and one touchdown on 12 carries and the one scoring throw.
“It was good to get the win, but at the same time we can play a lot better than we showed tonight,” Vikings coach Miles Aldridge said.
“We have to get better in all areas if we want to be a good team, not just an OK one.”
Aldridge was most unhappy with 110 yards in penalties and an inconsistent performance by the offensive line.
“I did a poor job of coaching in getting the team ready to play,” he said.
Defensively, the Vikings, who were led by fast, aggressive linebackers Christian Miller and Josh Harlan, limited the Diamond Hornets to 66 yards rushing, 156 overall. The Spring Valley secondary came up with three interceptions in the fourth quarter, one of which was returned 49 yards for a touchdown by De’marqus Muscove.
This was not the outcome Darryl Page had in mind for his Diamond Hornets.
“We had a classic case of first-game jitters, but really you have to give all the credit to Spring Valley’s defense,” the second-year LR coach said.
“We can’t hang out heads. We just have to get back to the drawing board and work things out.”
Lower Richland’s lone offensive highlight was a 53-yard scoring pass by Howard Henderson to Jontrai Jackson in the fourth quarter.
On defense, junior end Rayson Thomas made a strong impression.
SV – John Miller 3 run (Cooper Gresham kick), 4:34
SV – J. Miller 49 pass from Chris Adams (kick failed), 1:55
SV – J. Miller 7 run (Gresham kick), 4:25
SV – J. Miller 2 run (Gresham kick), 11:46
LR – Jontrai Jackson 53 pass from Howard Henderson (Jackson pass from Henderson), 10:20
SV – Adams 39 run (Gresham kick), 7:13
SV – De’marqus Muscove 49 interception return (Gresham kick), 6:28
SV – Ryan Lee 29 run (Gresham kick), 4:04