Catholic and Lookout Valley squared off Thursday afternoon on Billy Warren field at the campus of OLPH with Catholic coming out on the short end of a 32-26 score.
It was a classic battle. Catholic led from early in the first quarter until forty-one seconds left in the contest. The game concluded with Catholic on Valley’s 5 yard line.
On Valley’s opening play, Catholic nose-man Charles Lathram caused a fumble, recovered by George “Big Daddy” Gribben. Catholic got on the board first when tough running back Isha Davis scored on a 29- yard scamper. Davis added the 2-point conversion making it 8-0.
Catholic scored again in the first half when Gribben ran through the Valley defense, scoring on a 75-yard run. The conversion attempt failed, and the score stood 14-0. Valley responded with a 30-yard TD pass to Tad Ewton. George Smith added the conversion. The game entered half-time with Catholic leading 14-8.
Catholic scored on its opening possession of the second-half. Davis broke several tackles en route to a 35-yard TD, moving the score to 20-8. The conversion failed. Valley responded with another TD pass, this time 8 yards to Mike Javer. After a successful conversion, the score was 20-16.
Catholic responded immediately when a determined Davis added his third touchdown of the afternoon on a 74-yard run. The conversion attempt again failed, leaving the score 26-16.
After an exchange of possessions Valley mounted a drive late in the game. On third-and eight from the 32 yard line, Smith broke several tackles and with 2:37 scored, moving the game to 26-24,
With Catholic clinging to a slim lead, Valley recovered a perfectly executed on-side kick and took over on the 50 yard line. With forty-one seconds left Smith scored again, giving Valley its first lead of the contest. The conversion was successful, and Valley lead 32-26. Catholic refused to quit, and mounted a furious drive that ended on Valley’s 5 yard line. Final score, Valley 32, Catholic 26.
Following the contest the Catholic coaches were quick to compliment the effort. “I’ve coached 25 years, and I’ve seen few performances as gutsy as Isha’s today,” said Catholic Coach Billy Dearing. “He is an exemplary young man who absolutely gave it everything he had today. What a warrior,”
Davis ended the game with 274 yards rushing, three touchdowns, a two-point conversion and multiple tackles.
“Defensive ends Ian Scott and Will Menham couldn’t have played better,” Coach Bucky Dearing said. “I am proud of this group. We lost all three of our quarterbacks this season, and had to implement a brand new offense in very short order. Despite being outmanned, these guys have stood toe to toe and shown a tremendous amount of heart this season.”
Coach Matt Madron praised the work of the offensive line, and noted that both teams scored four touchdowns, but the conversions were the difference.
“Andrew Petrin, Charles Lathram and Cal Brown all played well,” added Madron.
Catholic plays next Saturday at home in the Choo-Choo Bowl against Saint Rose of Knoxville. Kick-off is at 1 p.m. Lookout Valley travels to Silverdale on Thursday.