Virgil scores 5 TDs to lead Valley to first undefeated regular season since 1987
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
Led by senior Jamasyn Virgil’s five touchdowns, the Tippecanoe Valley football team used a productive rushing attack to beat Southwood 56-25 and complete an undefeated regular season at Smith-Bibler Memorial Field, Home of Death Valley Football Friday.
Valley had not beaten Southwood since 2012, had not won the Three Rivers Conference since 2012, had not gone undefeated in TRC play since 2006 and had not had an undefeated regular season since 1987.
They accomplished all four feats Friday.
Valley is 9-0 overall and 7-0 in the TRC going into their Class 3A, Sectional 26 quarterfinal at Garrett next week.
Valley scored the first 22 points of the game and never trailed. In fact, Valley trailed in only one of their nine games. They fell behind Peru 2-0 in Week 3 but came back to win 45-9.
Valley coach Stephen Moriarty praised his team’s focus. He said it started during the summer with extensive film study and weight room work and continued to the day of this game. With students on fall break, players assembled for a film session 10 hours before game time Friday morning.
Moriarty called his players “students of the game.”
“It’s a roller coaster of highs and lows. … It’s hard to keep them fired up for every game,” Moriarty said. “You know, there are games that are circled on your calendar that you’re going to be fired up for because you want that win, and there are games where you’ve got to really concentrate on doing your job and make sure that you give everything you have and do your job, so that you can continue to win.”
Mo Lloyd threw four touchdown passes for Southwood, who fell to 4-5, 4-4.
The Knight defense had posted two shutouts in their last four games, but Valley amassed 479 yards of offense – 440 rushing, 39 passing.
And while the Valley defense allowed 187 yards passing and those four touchdowns to Lloyd, they also intercepted him three times.
Virgil had touchdown runs of 40, 67, 5 and 30 yards. He then capped his night with an 86-yard kickoff return for a touchdown with 2:05 left.
He also had three two-point conversion runs.
Hunter Eherenman, Branson McBrier and Nate Parker also had touchdown runs for Valley.
Virgil had 16 carries for 217 yards, Parker had 11 carries for 90 yards, and Eherenman had 13 carries for 75 yards.
“First of all, I think he’s got the biggest heart in the world,” Moriarty said of Virgil. “And he’s got a motor that won’t quit. He leads a lot by example. He goes hard every time.”
Valley’s success came despite them not having senior running back-cornerback Braden Shepherd. He missed the game with a leg injury but could be back for the Garrett game.
“Without Braden, we were going to rotate Hunter Eherenman, Nate Parker and Jamasyn,” Moriarty said. “Normally, Nate is his backup, but we wanted to have a senior there too with having Hunter Eherenman. It was a nice rotation, and I thought all three of them did fantastic.”
Valley 56, Southwood 25
Southwood 0 6 12 7 – 25
Valley 16 12 8 20 – 56
TV – Jamasyn Virgil 40 run (Virgil run)
TV – Hunter Eherenman 6 run (Eherenman run)
TV – Branson McBrier 2 run (run failed)
SW – Cole Winer 61 pass from Mo Lloyd (kick failed)
TV – Virgil 67 run (run failed)
SW – Winer 10 pass from Lloyd (pass failed)
SW – Winer 51 pass from Lloyd (pass failed)
TV – Virgil 5 run (Virgil run)
TV – Virgil 30 run (Virgil run)
TV – Nate Parker 41 run (kick failed)
SW – Chase Lopez 30 pass from Lloyd (Winer kick)
TV – Virgil 86 kickoff return (run failed)