JACKSON JUNCTION

Knowing it was going to take a herculean effort for his team to knock off sixth-ranked Turley Valley in class 8-player first-round playoff action in Jackson Junction Friday, Oct. 22, Springville football coach Joe Martin hoped his team would come into their post-season contest with a ‘nothing to lose’ attitude taking some of the pressure off his players.

“All the pressure was on Turkey Valley,” said Martin, as his team shocked the host Trojans, and their fans, scoring the game’s first touchdown on just the second play from scrimmage.

“No one expected anything out of us coming into this game, so I was hoping the guys could play loose and have some fun and maybe along the way be able to make this a competitive game and put more and more pressure on Turkey Valley.”

After Oriole quarterback Dylan DeMean found receiver Luke Menster open on a sensational 51-yard scoring pass play, Martin’s wish was hopefully coming true as the visitors jumped to a 6-0 lead a mere 40-seconds into the game.

Then reality set in, and it came quickly.

“Coming into the game we thought we could have some success in the passing game,” said Martin, as Turkey Valley answered the Springville touchdown with 54 consecutive points, rolling to a 54-14 rout ending the Oriole football season with a 4-5 overall record.

“And honestly we did have success. Dylan threw for 171 yards and two touchdowns. Against a team like Turkey Valley, that’s pretty impressive. The only thing was we couldn’t stop their offense all game long, and we also knew that was going to be a challenge coming in. We needed a ball-control offense that could chew up a lot of the clock, and that just was never able to happen. Our first quarter touchdown was on two plays and immediately gave the ball back to Turkey Valley, and when they got the ball on offense, big plays happened all night long.”

The hosts answered the Springville score with 22 first quarter points of their own before adding 20 more in the second stanza to start the continuous clock, leading 42-6 at the half.

“We knew Turkey Valley was an old school team and wasn’t going to do anything crazy in regards to defending Luke with a lot of double-teams,” Martin said. “So, we were able to get him the ball, the only thing was we struggled getting it to him in the open field. We were able to make some big plays in the game, but with a couple of turnovers and as big and fast and strong as Turkey Valley was, it made for a long night for us.”

The Orioles struggled defending Trojan running backs Dylan Reicks (124 yards rushing) and Marcus Herrold (118) as the two combined for 242 of Turkey Valley’s 318 total rushing yards in the game. Herrold tallied four touchdowns on the ground and totaled six in the contest adding a 60-yard receiving score to go with a 47-yard punt return for a touchdown.

“Even with as much as we were struggling to slow down that Turkey Valley offense, I was proud of how the kids continued to battle all night long,” Martin said. “We just didn’t have enough ammunition to be able to hang with a team like that.”

Trailing 54-6 with just 17-seconds remaining in the game, DeMean found Menster open in the back of the Trojan end zone on a 20-yard strike that closed the scoring and ended the game after Menster found DeMean on a successful two-point conversion pass play.

“This was the first playoff game for all of our kids, and they played it in a very tough environment,” Martin said. “We didn’t have anything to lose coming in, and the game was really like icing on the cake for all of us. We were happy to be here and these boys have a lot to be proud of. Making the playoffs is very special, and something that doesn’t happen often here. That’s also something we hope to change.”

DeMean completed 12-of-26 passes for 171 yards with Menster snaring nine of them for 127 yards. Luke Jordan added two receptions for 44 yards for the Oriole offense.

DeMean also led the ground game breaking free on several occasions gaining 46 yards on five carries as the team tallied 62 on the night on 15 attempts.

Springville’s defense, which was on the field a good chunk of the night, was led by Cory Weber’s eight tackles while Menster and Drew Feltes added six more each. Caden Weber came through with five tackles with DeMean (4 tackles), Seth Stone (3), Tristan Malanaphy (3), Jacob Waltz (2), Jackson Robinson Valley (2) and Logan Mason (2) all adding to the Oriole defensive effort.

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