by JACOB MEREDITH / sportingpumpkin.com
ASHVILLE — A career night by sophomore RB Jayden Woods led Teays Valley to a 31-13 victory for this Mid-State League opening night over the visiting the Liberty Union Lions.
The sophomore, known as Spike, racked up 267 yards on 22 carries and scored a pair of touchdowns.
“I dedicated my whole summer toward this season. With a new staff coming in, I had to make sure I worked extra hard in front of them to prove myself,” Woods said. “My coaches really emphasized to me this week to hit the hole hard and run extremely hard.
“My dad has also been a big vocal point this week to take advantage of my situation and keep focus. Coach Ransome has also been a huge part in practice coaching me up and believing in me. All my coaches prepared me this week and I greatly appreciate them.”
The Vikings’ offense sputtered early after a fumble was recovered by Liberty Union. Teays Valley responded by forcing a Lion turnover on downs.
The Vikings then saw Brody Farmer complete a pass to Harrison Payne for 36 yards, followed by a 50-yard rumble by Spike Woods — his first of two touchdowns on the night — giving the Vikings a 7-0 lead.
The Lions left the field to the Vikings with another three and out, allowing TV to drive down the field to score on a Farmer connection to senior Harrison Payne for an 8-yard touchdown pass.
The Vikings’ reliable place kicker Maxwell Spencer took the lead to 14-0 after the PAT attempt was good.
Liberty Union got on the board in the second quarter on a Shook touchdown pass to Aiden Jones for 84 yards to make it 14-7 in favor of TV.
LU responded by stuffing TV on fourth down by sacking Vikings’ QB Farmer and exchanged the field position to throw a 42 yard TD pass to Landon Piccirillo. The missed PAT had TV up 14-13.
Before the end of the half, sophomore Woods took it through the line for his second score of the half on an 80-yard touchdown run and the Vikings took a 21-13 lead into the locker room.
The only score in the third-quarter came from a 26-yard field goal for Spencer to bring the Viking lead to 24-13.
Lapses by the Teays Valley defense allowed the Lions to stay lurking around as their defensive front forced the Vikings into three fumbles on the night.
Later in the fourth quarter, Farmer connected with Luke Burgett for a 9-yard touchdown pass, adding to his 15-21 for 186 yards performance. (Farmer was stepping in for starter Kole Nungester who was out due to an injury sustained against Watkins Memorial the week before.)
The Lions added one more score as QB Noah Shook rushed for nine yards into the end zone for the game’s final points.
Payne had a big night receiving with 166 receiving yards on 11 receptions.
“I think it was really good to see our offense put up points this week. We have been struggling to get in the endzone the last three weeks, but (Friday) I think we did a great job of keeping drives going and, most importantly, finishing them,” Payne said. “Personally, I feel I was able show a side of me that often doesn’t come out, which is my ability to make people miss. I have not been able to do that recently, but tonight, I think I showed what I can truly do after I catch the ball.
“Overall, it was a great team win. Now our focus is on preparing for next week’s game against Hamilton Township.”
Shook led the Lions on the ground with 66 yards and threw for 229 more.
Teays Valley (2-2, 1-0) hosts Hamilton Township (4-0, 1-0) next week while Liberty Union (0-4, 0-1) travels to Bloom-Carroll (3-1, 1-0).
TV: Spike Woods 50 yd Rush (TD) 0-6
TV: Spencer (PAT) 0-7
TV: Harrison Payne 8 yd Pass from Brady Farmer (CNV) 0-13
TV: Spencer (PAT) 0-14
LU: Aiden Jones 84 yd Pass from Noah Shook (CNV) 6-14
LU: Cooper Meachem (PAT) 7-14
LU: Landon Piccirillo 42 yd Pass from Noah Shook (CNV) 13-14
TV: Spike Woods 80 yd Rush (TD) 13-20
TV: Spencer (PAT) 13-21
TV: Spencer 26 yd (FG) 13-24
TV: Luke Burgett 9 yd Pass from Brady Farmer (CNV) 13-30
TV: Spencer (PAT) 13-31
LU: Noah Shook 2 yd Rush (TD) 19-31