HUNTINGTON — Anytime Cabell Midland and Spring Valley get together, things are sure to get a little crazy.
Add in Friday the 13th and a full moon, and it makes for a wild night in Wayne County.
Cabell Midland used three touchdown runs of 75 yards or more, a strong defensive effort and Spring Valley miscues to earn a 28-21 win over the Timberwolves in a barnburner at the Wolves Den.
It was the first win for the Cabell Midland seniors over the Timberwolves.
J.J. Roberts, who had three touchdown runs and a key interception, spoke about what it meant for the Knights, who move to 3-0 on the season.
“This is the first time we’ve beaten them in what – four or five years,” Roberts said. “We shell-shocked them, but we expected to come out and do that. That’s what we’ve been preparing for all these months. This isn’t surprising to me because I know we’ve got a great team.”
Roberts scored on an 88-yard run on the game’s first play to give the Knights the lead and they never looked back. The senior Wake Forest commit finished with 175 yards, three touchdowns and an interception, all of which came in the first half.
Roberts was injured on the interception return, which left him unable to run. However, he came back out to play quarterback in the second half, keeping a veteran presence under center. That was crucial with Chandler Schmidt sidelined due to a foot injury.
“It didn’t feel good, but I can’t let my brothers down,” Roberts said. “They wanted me to come out and I felt like, at 60 percent, I could hand the ball off. I tried to be the best leader I could, given the situation.”
The game’s biggest play came on the first play of the fourth quarter when Hayden Hass took a counter play for a 77-yard score that re-established a two-score lead after the Timberwolves had built momentum.
Spring Valley rallied within one score following a circus catch by Corbin Page for a 23-yard touchdown, and also had a chance to tie with under three minutes left, but a fourth-down pass by Nate Ellis fell incomplete.
Cabell Midland used a pair of critical Spring Valley personal foul penalties to ice the game. They were the final mistakes in a game full of them, according to Spring Valley coach Brad Dingess.
“We didn’t play good,” Dingess said. “If you make as many mistakes as we did – stupid penalties, turn the ball over – you don’t deserve to win the game. They were better than us tonight.”
All week long, the talk had been about Spring Valley’s defense, but it was the defense of Cabell Midland that came up the biggest, winning the turnover battle and making life difficult on Ellis who was sacked six times.
The first half was a personal highlight show for Roberts, whose three touchdown runs and interception led the Knights to a 21-7 lead at the break.
After the 88-yard run on the game’s first play, he later added an 87-yard run on an option keeper and a 2-yard plunge set up by a 32-yard run from Isaiah Vaughn on 4th-and-2.
Cabell Midland rushed for 374 yards in the win.
Following Roberts’ first touchdown run, Page hauled in a 53-yard pass reception from Ellis to set up David Livingston’s 2-yard touchdown that briefly knotted it at 7. Page finished with 113 yards on four catches for the Timberwolves in the loss.
Any Friday the 13th is not complete without a little madness and the contest at the Wolves Den was no different. Prior to the game, it was feared that the contest might not get underway at all on Friday night after the electricity to the lights and press box malfunctioned.
However, crews from American Electric Power got on-scene quickly and determined the program was a blown fuse on a transformer, and they were able to change it out. Teams took the field at 7 p.m. and kickoff got started at 7:45 p.m.