Jay Jenkins
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John Bruce

Adkins’ goal lifts Northwest past Valley in opener

Caiman Adkins scored the game-winner, lifting the Mohawks to victory.

John Bruce, Staff Writer

Southern Ohio Sports Authority is presented by OhioHealth.

McDERMOTT – Northwest returned a ton of experience from last season’s 13-win team. But it was a rising underclassman who made the biggest play on Tuesday. 

With 24:45 to play in the second half, sophomore Caiman Adkins pounced on a loose ball in the box, pounding it into the side netting to give the Mohawks all they needed to knock off the Indians by a 1-0 final in non-conference action. 

While Northwest (1-0) understood the task at hand, it was a bit of a different mindset for Valley. It was an early season test to see if the Indians (0-1) were going to rebuild or reload. 

The youth-filled Indians showed they weren’t going to rebuild, playing the experienced Mohawks to a stalemate through the opening 55 minutes of play. 

Valley keyed on Northwest forwards Jay Jenkins and Caleb Lewis throughout the contest. Defenders Jaekyn Ridout and Braxton Dillow, along with their midfield, kept the Mohawks outside of the box, lowering the chances of either player finishing on any opportunities. 

With neither team gaining much offensive traction, it appeared that the game was going to remain scoreless throughout. But that was until Lewis sent in a cross towards the back post. On the other side of the cross was Adkins, who went for a header, but was fouled in the process, leading to a penalty kick. 

Even though the penalty kick was parried away by Valley’s Aidan Gray, the ball was not cleared by the Indians, which led to Adkins’ heroics. 

Valley’s offensive intensity picked up over the final 20 minutes of action, but a choice by Northwest to move Jenkins back to defense helped limit those chances at the net. 

With less than one minute to play, the Indians had one final chance to equalize. A perfect cross to the back post connected with a streaking Ridout, which he headed towards the turf and the goal. It appeared to be on its way to tie the match in the waning moments. 

But somehow, some way, the header took a massive bounce, went up and over the crossbar, closing the game with a Northwest victory. 

Northwest returns to action on Thursday in SOC II play as it’ll host Waverly while Valley heads to Muletown on Saturday to clash with Minford.


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