Tri-Valley pushes past Philo 28-14 following weather delay, big fourth quarter


Tri-Valley wide receiver Carson Simpkins trots to the end zone for his first of two fourth-quarter touchdowns against Philo.

By Nick McWilliams, Sports Director

Not even Mother Nature can slow down Tri-Valley this season.

With storm clouds rolling in from the west and the sky quickly turning dark, Philo and the Scotties clashed in what turned out to be a much more crazy affair than first anticipated. Home field advantage and more than an hour-long delay for storms was not enough for the Electrics, who ultimately dropped the contest 28-14.

After a scoreless first quarter, Tri-Valley wide receiver Blayze Taylor fielded a deep punt before making the first Philo defender miss. From there, fancy footwork and solid blocking paved the way to the end zone.

Taylor did not play his best game, however, as the speedy pass catcher failed to haul in a pass after being targeted multiple times. For his lack of a stellar game, receiver Carson Simpkins made up for it.

The senior wideout hauled in five catches for an absurd 194 yards and two scores.

And on top of that, he owned the fourth quarter.

With things all knotted up at 14-14 heading into the last 10 minutes, quarterback Luke Fargus went back to pass and found Simpkins on a deep post route. Simpkins shrugged off the defender and scampered into the end zone to put the Scotties up 21-14.

But who doesn’t want more.

After a fourth-down stuff, Tri-Valley tried a quick pass then a run to get out of the shadow of their own goal line. After getting to the 5-yard line, coach Kevin Fell and his staff dialed up a play Philo had been stopping all night, but Simpkins finally found daylight.

95 yards of daylight.

“I was focused only on just getting to the end zone,” he said with a grin after the game. “I knew (the defender) was behind me, so I was just trying to go as fast as I possibly could. I saw my teammate coming in to help me and give a block too. As soon as I saw him I felt a little bit more confident and I picked up the speed a little bit.”

A large chunk of the positive offense for the Scotties, however, was negated by penalties, three of which were called in a row. From three unsportsmanlike conducts to a roughing the kicker call, Tri-Valley nearly lost its grip on the game midway through the third quarter.

Philo was far from without their own big plays as well, as Hunter Adolph connected with Carson Stottsberry on a 78-yard strike in the second quarter. But it was a severe lack of a run game — 40 carries for 61 yards — that truly hurt the Electrics.

Running back Casey Munyan was held to a season low in yards on the ground, but Adolph was able to make up for the slow night in the trenches with one of his best games passing to date. Connecting on 18 of his 27 pass attempts, he accrued 190 yards and two scores.

Even more impressive, Adolph battled through an ankle injury for much of the night, pushing through a limp and noticeable pain to keep fighting for a win. It was the exact kind of tough matchup Fell expected coming in to Duncan Falls.

He credited the extended “halftime” as one of the major factors for the team’s win.

“That was a game where the delay really helped us,” he said. “We were so flat and so out of sorts, and so just not right. We got back out and got it back together a bit and it helped in the end. Probably dragged it out a little more than it should have been. We had so many defensive penalties … we just gave them a touchdown. But sometimes that happens.”

A second-half team all season, Tri-Valley is now a perfect 5-0. Philo, meanwhile, will have to swallow a painful loss and their first conference defeat this season.

Rain makes football more fun for most people, but storms create just a hint more drama on Friday nights.