Austin Hannah, Contributor
Southern Ohio Sports Authority is presented by OhioHealth.
WILLIAMSPORT — By now, Paint Valley’s shutout loss to Washington in Week 3 has been well-documented.
The Bearcats came into that game with high hopes only to have them quickly dashed by a well-oiled Blue Lions offense.
But after Friday’s win over Westfall, that loss is now where it belongs: in the past. The Bearcats’ offense erupted for 59 points in a 59-25 win over the Mustangs to get back on track and begin Scioto Valley Conference play.
“This feels good. It’s been a couple of weeks since we got a win,” Paint Valley coach Corey Dye said. “I thought our kids came out ready to play. We got the job done running the football and we did a good job of passing the ball. Defensively, we got stops when we needed them.”
After forcing a punt to begin the game, Paint Valley (2-2, 1-0 SVC) controlled the line of scrimmage on its first offensive drive and used a mix of Cavan Cooper, Braylon Robertson and Dom Chambers to march down the field.
Robertson was the first to find the end zone, logging a five-yard touchdown run with 6:53 left in the opening quarter to put Paint Valley ahead, 6-0.
The Mustangs’ second possession ended like their first but when the Bearcats got the ball back, Casey Cline stepped in front of a pass for an interception to swing momentum. Westfall capitalized on the opportunity when Cade Hall scored from 14 yards out, tying the game at 6-6.
Paint Valley continued to go to its bread and butter running game in the second as Robertson scored a 20-yard touchdown run before a two-point conversion made it a 14-6 lead. On Westfall’s next possession, Carson Free picked off a pass and returned it to the Mustangs’ seven-yard line. On the next play, Chambers found pay dirt, making it 21-6 with 8:13 left.
After the Mustangs (1-3, 0-1 SVC) coughed the football up on their next drive, the Bearcats wasted no time in extending their lead to 28-6 with 6:12 left the second thanks to a one-yard run from Chambers.
That’s all the room PV needed to keep its distance.
“That felt really good,” Cooper said. “We scheduled a really tough non-conference schedule on purpose, trying to prepare ourselves for the playoffs and the rest of the SVC season that we need to prepare for.”
Westfall struck back with a one-yard touchdown run from Bryce Wickline before Paint Valley countered with a 27-yard rushing touchdown from Chambers to make it a 35-12 count. The Mustangs had one more score left in them in the first half, coming on Wickline’s second score of the night, this one from four yards out, to cut the deficit to 35-18 at halftime.
Picking up the scoring where it left off in the first half, Robertson got his touchdown hat trick with a one-yard run at the 10:29 mark in the third. After Westfall’s offense sputtered, Cooper found Free for a 34-yard touchdown pass before doing it a second time, this time from 36 yards away, for a 53-18 lead with 4:07 remaining.
The game’s final two scores came on a 63-yard run from Wickline and a 10-yard rush from Cooper with 10:31 left in the fourth.
On the game’s final drive, Westfall was knocking on the door of the end zone again but Robertson picked off a pass attempt to put the Bearcats’ win on ice.
The Bearcats were led statistically by Chambers, who amassed 18 carries for 187 yards and three scores. Robertson had 10 rushes for 112 yards and three touchdowns, Cooper was 7-of-9 through the air for 106 yards and two touchdowns and added 51 rushing yards and a score. Free led the receiving corps for six catches for 106 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Paint Valley now awaits a home date with Adena in Week 5 while Westfall attempts to get back in the win column at Southeastern.
“Obviously, there are things we need to clean up and get better at,” Dye said. “But I’m just really proud of our kids and their effort tonight.”