marcus score

Valley’s Marcus White scores one of his six touchdowns Friday against Richwood. The Lumberjacks pulled out a 47-46 win in a battle of state-ranked teams.

RICHWOOD — From the beginning, it had the feel of the kind of game that would be determined by the team that had the ball last.

That’s exactly how it turned out.

Dustin Brown connected on a 35-yard field goal to lift host Richwood to a thrilling 47-46 victory over Valley in a contest of state-ranked squads.

The Class A No. 3 Lumberjacks mounted a final drive after Valley scored with 37 seconds remaining.

“I thought we left them too much time,” Valley coach Benny Hopkins said. “We played pretty good. We just couldn’t stop them.”

Marcus White scored on a 4-yard TD and added a two-point conversion run to give the No. 9 Greyhounds a 46-44 lead. It was White’s sixth TD of the evening, after rushing 26 times for 229 yards.

The touchdowns were White’s first of the year, as he previously just had a pair of two-point conversions.

“White is amazing,” Richwood coach Jason Rogers said. “But we never quit. This was a prime example of that.

“We didn’t want to get into a shootout with them. It was just a case of neither team being able to stop each other.”

“I really don’t have any kind of idea of what to say,” Rogers continued. “I stood in front of my kids for 10 minutes trying to figure it out.

“We preach to them all of the time to never quit. This game was a prime example of why you don’t quit.

“That’s a great game for both teams. A great game for coaches and fans, too.”

The game featured 11 lead changes.

Richwood had two outstanding rushing performances of its own. Sam Tindal ran 21 times for 182 yards and three TDs and Brown rushed 16 times for 180 yards and one score.

The teams accounted for 831 yards of total offense combined.

Richwood started the slugfest with a 26-yard touchdown run by Brown to go up 7-0.

But Valley responded with two TD runs by White to take a 14-7 lead.

But the Lumberjacks struck back with a pair of big-play TDs of their own — a Tindal quarterback scramble for 56 yards and a 49-yard fumble return by Spencer McPherson — to take a 21-14 lead after one quarter.

Scoring slowed considerably in the second quarter. White found the end zone on a 9-yard scamper to give Valley a narrow 22-21 advantage at halftime.

Richwood scored the third quarter’s lone points on a 16-yard TD pass from Tindal to McPherson, a play that saw the junior quarterback display some moves and scrambling ability in order to buy time and find an open receiver downfield.

The Lumberjacks led 28-22 heading into the final quarter.

But it was far from over.

And the faint of heart should have been notified.

It was about to break open, video game style.

The fourth quarter free-for-all went like this:

* Petey Foster rambled in for a 9-yard TD run and Valley added a two-point conversion run by Corey Tolley. Valley 30-28.

* Tindal capped a three-play drive with a 30-yard run, speeding past the defenders to the end zone. Richwood 36-30.

* White answered with two big runs in the ensuing Greyhound drive, capping it of with a 5-yard TD. Valley 38-36.

* Richwood mounted a little longer drive, a 9-play set that ate up about four minutes from the clock, finished off with a 25-yard TD run by Tindal. The play came on a fourth-and-1 situation, but Tindal, who seemed content to just push forward past the marker for the first down originally, discovered he was still on his feet and darted past the Valley secondary for a long run and TD. Richwood 44-38 with 3:06 left.

* On its next possession, Valley was faced with a fourth-and-11 with under a minute remaining and converted with a 30-yard pass play from Jack Simms to Foster. That got the ball to the 4-yard line, where White bounced into the end zone on the next play with a go-ahead TD with just 37 seconds left. Valley 46-44.

* Tindal took over on the game’s final possession. He ran for 16 yards and managed to get out of bounds to stop the clock. He completed a 9-yard pass to Brown and ran 6 yards on a third-and-1 before calling a timeout with 14 seconds left.

Needing a bit more yardage for a field goal attempt, Tindal connected with Zach Bennett for 8 yards to get the ball to the Valley 17.

With four seconds on the clock, Richwood took its final timeout to set up the field goal attempt, one that Brown would kick.

The senior booted the football through the uprights, despite a high snap, to give Richwood a victory that should catapult the Lumberjacks even higher in the ratings this week.

“My hat’s off to Valley,” Rogers said. “They came in here ready to play. They were coached well and they played hard. They stuck it to us and we got lucky in the end.”

The quality and quantity of the athletes on the field was remarkable, especially considering the Class A schools’ sizes.

“Amazing,” Rogers agreed. “I’ll be honest with you, I believe that the two best quarterbacks in single-A played in the game. That’s my opinion. (Richwood’s) Sam (Tindal) is good, and (Valley’s) Jack Simms is one heck of a football player. And (Valley fullback) Marcus White is amazing. We needed six, seven or eight guys to tackle him. And (Richwood running back) Dustin Brown runs his butt of every night.”

“We both have some good players,” Hopkins said. “Jack (Simms) does a lot of good things for us. He is a good leader and runs the veer (offense) real well. And their quarterback? He’s on fire right now.”

“It was a great matchup between two good teams,” Rogers added. “I know that both teams will be in the playoffs.”

Rogers was able to put the contest in perspective rather easily, given time.

“It’s a win and I’ll take that any time,” he said.

— E-mail: jworkman@

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