By Brad Morris
ASHVILLE — Mark Weber freely admits that it isn’t hard to figure out what Teays Valley is trying to do on offense.
The issue for opponents through the first six weeks has been trying to stop the Vikings.
Teays Valley established early domination in the trenches and racked up 299 yards rushing on Friday to manhandle visiting Hamilton Township 33-0 in a key Mid-State League Buckeye Division game.
“It’s no secret what we’re looking to do on offense,” a proud Coach Weber said after the game. “The difference for us so far has been our technique, our heart, our desire and outexecuting the other team at the point of attack. We still have work to do and things we can and need to improve on, but our guys have been making it happen so far.”
The Vikings (6-0, 3-0) are off to their best start in program history and knocked Hamilton Township (3-1, 2-1) out of a three-way tie for first in the league with defending champion Bloom-Carroll (6-0, 3-0) and themselves.
Bloom-Carroll and Teays Valley appear on a collision course to decide the league championship on Oct. 15 in Carroll. The Vikings travel to Circleville next week and host Amanda-Clearcreek the week after, while the Bulldogs host Fairfield Union next week and travel to Logan Elm the week after.
Instead of looking ahead to a potential championship matchup, Weber wanted to keep the focus on a homecoming win over the Rangers and complimented the play and development of his offensive line.
“That’s a special group of kids who have been through the good, the bad and the ugly and they are better for it,” Weber said. “Tristian Graham is one of the best players on the line as a freshman that I’ve coached since probably Neal Davis. Then you have guys who just get after it and do a solid job like Luke Bullock, A.J. Moniaci, Landon McFarland, Joey Thurston and Carter Miller.
“It’s a different mix of grades, and we don’t have guys with height, weight and strength that are off the charts. What we have our guys who are comfortable playing together, that have heart and desire and who have developed into a pretty strong line.”
Camden McDanel paced the Vikings’ ground game with 142 yards on 27 carries and four touchdowns. Peyton Weiler (12 carries, 54 yards), Landon Thompson (six carries, 45 yards) and Gavin Karshner (five carries, 29 yards and a touchdown) also contributed to the win.
“Our line sets the tone up front and then we have a four-headed monster of tough guys who can break a long run and who can grind and pick you up those tough yards,” Weber said. “Camden McDanel had a big night for us and he got into a pretty good flow out there. Then you work in guys like Peyton, Landon and Gavin and it makes it tough on the other team, because we’ll still have strong legs in the second half with that rotation.”
The Vikings opened the game on a nine-play, 60-yard drive that featured McDanel covering 40 of those yards on nine carries. The Teays Valley junior bowled over the goal line on fourth down from two yards out to put the Vikings ahead 7-0, following the first of three extra points from Cale Clifton.
Teays Valley then recovered a short kick that Hamilton Township was unable to handle, setting up shop on the Ranger 49-yard line.
“The credit for that goes to Coach (Nick) Bolyard,” Weber revealed. “He’s our special teams coordinator and he puts in 30 hours a week looking for opportunities like that.
“This was a big game and our homecoming game, so we knew it was important to get off to a good start and feed off the energy that our crowd brought, because this place was full of blue. Special teams was a big difference maker for us.”
A 25-yard pass from Tyler Love to Thompson set up a one-yard touchdown run by McDanel four plays later to put the Vikings ahead 14-0.
The Rangers tried to get back into the game and drove down to the TV 24-yard line, where they faced a fourth-and-two. TJ Black was stuffed for a one-yard loss on the play by Weiler, turning the ball back over on downs to the Vikings.
“Peyton is a leader for us on and off the field and he has a tendency to make big plays like that,” Weber said. “After the kick recovery we had, that was probably the second big momentum change play that we had.”
Teays Valley effectively put away the win by using eight plays to cover 75 yards. McDanel consumed 51 yards on six carries, including a one-yard plunge over the goal line to put the Vikings ahead 21-0.
The Vikings scored twice in the third quarter on touchdown runs of nine yards by McDanel and two yards courtesy of Karshner to initiate the running clock with 30 seconds left in the period.
The McDanel touchdown run was set-up in part by a 34-yard punt return by Harrison Payne, where he weaved his way around several HT defenders, to allow the Vikings to start that drive from the HT 39-yard line.
Teays Valley shutdown Hamilton Township’s double wing offense to 125 yards of total offense, 113 of which came on the ground via 29 carries.
“Our defense was in lockdown mode all night,” Weber praised. “Again, it’s not complicated with what we are trying to do. Our guys are just play sound and fundamental football.”
Black led the Rangers with 71 yards rushing on 12 carries.
The Vikings travel to Circleville (2-4, 0-3) next week, while the Rangers continue their league road trip at Amanda-Clearcreek (4-2, 2-1).
Teays Valley 33,
Hamilton Township 0
Score By Quarters 1 2 3 4 F
Hamilton Township 0 0 0 0 0
Teays Valley 14 7 12 0 33
TV — Camden McDanel 2 run (Cale Clifton kick), 5:40.
TV — Camden McDanel 1 run (Cale Clifton kick), 2:10
TV — Camden McDanel 1 run (Cale Clifton kick), 6:37.
TV — Camden McDanel 9 run (kick failed), 5:29.
TV — Gavin Karshner 2 run (kick failed), 0:30.
First downs 8 24
Rushing yards 29-113 54-299
Passing yards 12 47
Comp.-Att.-Int 1-5-0 3-3-0
Total yards 125 346
Fumbles-Lost 3-2 1-1
Penalties-Yards 5-40 5-50
Punts-Ave. 3-23.3 1-24
Time of Possession 19:55 27:25
RUSHING – Hamilton Township — TJ Black 12-71, Nadir Langston 1-16, Phurious Owens 4-12, Aamen Whitson 3-7, JJ Wilson 2-4, Taliq Black 4-1, Jordan Bowen 2-1, AJ Cain-Jackson 1-0. Teays Valley — Camden McDanel 27-142, Peyton Weiler 12-54, Landon Thompson 6-45, Gavin Karshner 5-29, Brodi Boardman 3-23, Tyler Love 1-6.
PASSING – Hamilton Township — TJ Black 1-4-0-12, Jordan Bowen 0-1-0-0. Teays Valley — Tyler Love 3-3-0-47.
RECEIVING – Hamilton Township — Trent Renz 1-12. Teays Valley — Landon Thompson 2-27, Peyton Weiler 1-20.
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