Week 7 preview: Valley to try not to get Birn-ed against Maconaquah
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
Tippecanoe Valley (6-0, 4-0 TRC) at Maconaquah (2-2, 2-2), 7 p.m.
In a season full of decisive wins, Valley got their most lopsided win last week when they beat Whitko 60-0 on Homecoming at Smith-Bibler Memorial Field, Home of Death Valley Football.
The offense is now averaging 42 points per game. Rex Kirchenstien, Braden Shepherd, Dalton Alber and Jamasyn Virgil scored two touchdowns apiece.
“He found himself with a good opportunity to get open,” Valley coach Stephen Moriarty said of Kirchenstien’s big game. “He did a great job of positioning himself that he could get open.”
Meanwhile, their defense has posted two shutouts in their last three games.
“Our defense has been playing very well,” Moriarty said. “I’ve been very proud of their effort here recently – well, all season. … They’re very good at reading their key and doing their assignments. And they play very aggressively. That’s the thing. If you make it simple enough, it doesn’t take away their aggressiveness. That helps a ton.”
The impenetrable Valley defense will now face a Maconaquah that ran wild in a 72-20 win over North Miami last week. Maconaquah quarterback Braxton Birner threw seven touchdown passes, and nine different Maconaquah players caught a pass.
Maconaquah led 66-6 at halftime.
Birner is a sophomore, and eight of the nine receivers who caught a pass are either freshmen or sophomores. Brayden Betzner, the lone senior in that receiving corps, caught five passes for 114 yards and a touchdown.
Sophomore running back Ty Galvan had 90 yards rushing on 10 carries.
“It’s that air raid offense,” Moriarty said, referring to an offense that has the quarterback in the shotgun formation with four wide receivers. “They do a good job of getting the ball to the open receiver. As a sophomore, he throws a great ball. He does find the open receivers all the time. His ability to just step up and do that quickly is fantastic. We’re going to play one of our better games here to stop him. … What I’m worried about too is the blown coverages. We don’t want them to speak out a couple of scores deep because we weren’t all on the same page.”
Valley beat Maconaquah 20-17 last year to even the all-time series at 2-2.