By John L. Braese
VALE – At the outset of the Vale-Homedale football game last Friday, it looked as if neither team would be able to score.
At halftime, fans heading for a hot dog saw the scoreboard reading 0-0.
Both teams found the end zone in the second half – the Trojans twice but Vale only once. The final score was 15-8 as Vale lost the non-conference contest.
The Trojans turned the ball over four times in the game, and the Vikings picked up 16 penalties totaling 121 yards.
The defense on both sides ruled the first half. After a quick three and out by the Viks, Homedale was driving on their first offensive series. However, an interception by Vale’s Andrew Collins interrupted the drive and the ball went back to the Viks.
Late in the first quarter, Rudy Gomez got a hand on the Homedale pass to again stall the Trojans.
Midway in the second quarter, it appeared Vale would hit the scoreboard first, but a long run by Gomez was called back for illegal procedure, and the teams were scoreless at the half.
In the second half, Vale again saw a score come off the board, this time due to a holding penalty. On the next series by the Trojans, Vale was close to forcing a turnover, but a penalty gave Homedale a first down.
Homedale drove down field and took the lead at 7-0 on a one-yard keeper by quarterback Drew Deal.
The Vikings answered with a long drive and score of their own. Eating up almost five minutes of the clock, Vale drove down the field and scored on an 8-yard run by Jacob Delong. With the two-point conversion successful, the Viks took their only lead of the game, 8-7.
Another Vale penalty allowed the Trojans their second score. A pass interference call allowed the Trojans to maintain a drive that culminated in a 5-yard run by Caleb Meligan for the game-winning points.
A last effort by Vale quarterback Cade Perry was intercepted with less than five seconds on the clock.
“We ran the ball effectively tonight, we just need to fix our mistakes,” said Vale head coach Jeff Aldred. “This was a typical early-season game, too many mistakes. It is up to the coaching staff to fix these. We need to be better prepared as a coaching staff, and the older kids on this team need to lead by example.”
The Viking offense was only able to muster 193 yards on offense. Gomez had 145 yards on 28 touches of the ball and Perry was 4-for-19 passing with one interception. Vale had 51 yards through the air.
Homedale put up 333 yards of total offense, but did turn the ball over on four occasions, all on the Vale side of the field. Deal ended the night 6-for-13 with two interceptions and added an additional 81 yards rushing. Meligan added 76 yards rushing.
The Trojan offense proved balanced as 176 yards came on the passing game and 157 yards were added on the ground game.
Homedale 0 0 7 8 – 15
Vale 0 0 8 0 – 8