North Valleys hangs on to defeat Douglas
MINDEN — Cardayell Morgan and Ben Westby combined to score three first-quarter touchdowns and North Valleys held on for a 35-27 non-league football victory against Douglas on Friday night.
North Valleys (1-0) led 21-7 after one quarter and then capitalized on a couple of big plays late to stave off a comeback by Douglas (0-2) in the second half.
Bryce James scored on 32-yard run in the third quarter to bring the Tigers to within 28-20 and added a 2-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter to make it 35-27 with 2:14 left to play.
The Tigers’ onside kick attempt after the last touchdown was within reach, only to see the ball squirt out of bounds, and North Valleys ran out the clock.
James wound up with 88 rushing yards on 15 carries. The senior threw for another 124 yards, highlighted by a 71-yard touchdown pass to Cody Ball in the first quarter.
North Valleys used seven different ball carriers in its wing-T offense to roll up 222 rushing yards and 28-14 first-half lead.
The Panthers finished the night with 362 rushing yards.
Junior quarterback Matt Sneed ran for 112 yards on 18 carries and threw for another 137 yards. Morgan scored on 1- and 9-yard runs to put the Panthers on top, 14-0, and Westby scored on a 10-yard run late in the first quarter.
Four turnovers — two interceptions and two fumbles — proved costly for the Tigers. The first of those fumbles set up Westby’s touchdown run. The second fumble may have been more costly, coming at the North Valleys 1 to end an 11-play drive on the opening play of the fourth quarter.
North Valleys produced another big play moments later when Anthony Friend lined up in punt formation in his own end zone and scampered 33 yards for a first down.
The Tigers’ Sam Melhus rushed for 47 yards on 15 carries and scored on a 2-yard run early in the second quarter.