Eagles Upend Valley 27-22

A back-and-forth contest saw Tippecanoe Valley end up on the short end of a 27-22 football final to Culver Academy Friday night in Akron.

The game, which featured six lead changes, was the prep gridiron opener for both the Vikings and the Eagles.

A 35-yard touchdown run by CMA’s Hayes Barnes, his third of the night, in the third quarter was the game winner. Neither team scored in the final period.

Valley took a 15-13 halftime lead on the strength of a short play and a very big one in the opening half. Ben Shriver tossed a two-yard touchdown pass to Mason Teel to make it 7-6 in the second quarter and then Nolan Sponseller galloped 85 yards with a kickoff return to give the hosts their two-point lead at intermission.

The Eagles, who beat Valley 22-8 in 2011, took 20-15 lead in the third period. The Vikings answered as junior Shriver connected with Tanner Andrews on a 26-yard scoring strike to make it 22-20. Barnes, who scored on runs on six and five yards, then rambled 35 yards for the final touchdown of the contest.

Valley’s potent offense, which scored more than 50 points three times in last year’s 6-4 season, was held to just 140 total yards. Shriver was 9-18 passing for 93 yards with Andrews making four receptions for 77 yards.  Sponseller racked up 146 yards in kick returns for the Vikings.

Coach Andy Dorrel’s Eagles used a balanced rushing attack to total 236 yards on the ground. David Dilts led the winners with 13 rushes for 95 yards and one touchdown. Barnes added 72 yards on 20 carries and Joel Tinney had 69 yards on eight rushes.

Tippecanoe Valley (0-1) plays Bremen Aug. 25 at 2:30 p.m. in Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. CMA (1-0) hosts NorthWood next Friday.

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