Spring Valley football coach Robin Bacon worried about a run of slow starts to close the regular season, but that hardly seemed like a problem as the playoffs began.
The Vikings scored on their first four possessions and forced turnovers on three of West Ashley’s first five possessions in a 55-18 win at Harry Parone Stadium to open the Class 5A playoffs.
“I told them, ‘This is the playoffs, we can’t drag our feet, wait til the very end,’ ” Bacon said. “We’ve got to come out and hit these guys in the mouth. This is the best start we’ve had all year.”
Spring Valley (8-3) relied on a run game that put up 401 yards. They advanced to face Conway, which beat Goose Creek.
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Da’Prince Haynes’ 18-yard interception for a touchdown put the Wildcats (5-6) in a 14-0 hole in the first quarter.
Tate I’auolauo, FB, Spring Valley: The junior ran for 139 yards on eight carries, including a 70-yard touchdown.
Quincy Hill, QB, Spring Valley: The Vikings’ signal caller ran for 64 yards and a score, hit his only two passes for 42 yards and deftly ran Spring Valley’s option attack.
Four: Runs for West Ashley tailback Dexter Freeman longer than 5 yards on 22 carries. The North-South All-Star came in averaging 6 per carry with 1,474 yards on the ground.
9.78: Spring Valley’s yards per carry.
21: Vikings points off four Wildcats turnovers – three interceptions and a fumble.
THEY SAID IT
“We didn’t help ourselves early with the turnovers. They came out ready to play and we never really stopped them. ... They run that offense to perfection” Robert Marion, West Ashley coach
“I felt like we had this one in the bag, but we can’t take it easy the second half. We’ve got to finish.” I’auolauo, on racing to a 27-0 lead
HOW THEY SCORED
SV – Hill 5 run (Hamilton kick), 5:33
SV – Haynes 18 interception return (Hamilton kick), 4:23
SV – Morris 10 run (kick blocked), 2:56
SV – I’auolauo 70 run (Hamilton kick), 9:49
AR – Campbell 13 run (Kick blocked), 4:46
SV – Morris 49 run (Hamilton kick), 11:43
SV – Jones 28 pass from Hill (Hamilton kick), 9:29
SV – Stokes 3 run (Hamilton kick), 4:13
AR – Kershaw 49 pass from Hethington (pass failed), 11:48
SV – Morris 39 run (Hamilton kick), 4:44
AR – Freeman 35 run (pass failed), 0:59
Rushing: AR: Freeman 22-130, Hethington 8-60, Campbell 3-13, Dowd 1-7, Jenkins 1-5, Washington 1-0. Totals: 36-215. SV: I’auolauo 8-139, Morris 5-117, Hill 11-64, Simpson 2-18, Haigler 2-15, Skelton 4-13, Jones 3-12, Moore 1-11, Nkiri 2-5, Goodwin 1-3, Stokes 1-3, TEAM 1-1. Totals: 41-401.
Passing: AR: Heathington 11-23-3-126, Jenkins 0-1-0-0. Totals 11-24-3-126. SV: Hill 2-2-0-42.
Receiving: AR: Whitney 3-25, Freeman 3-11, Gallon 2-36, Kershaw 1-49, Dowd 1-3, Hicks 1-2. SV: Jones 1-28, Thomas 1-14.