HUNTINGTON — Capital’s bus might not have passed anyone on its trip home Friday night for fear of being intercepted.
Spring Valley intercepted four passes Friday, giving the Timberwolves nine picks against the Cougars in two shutouts this season, following a 30-0 victory in the Class AAA quarterfinals at the Wolves Den.
No. 3 Spring Valley (12-1) will play at No. 2 Cabell Midland (13-0) next Friday or Saturday in the semifinals. The Knights beat George Washington 28-18 Friday night in Ona.
“Our defense played really well,” Timberwolves coach Brad Dingess said. “We schemed up and got pressure that made [Capital quarterback Evan Landers] make some bad decisions. Our secondary doesn’t get enough credit.”
Landers can’t be blamed for all four picks. His receiver stopped short on a route and Garrett Hall intercepted a pass at the Spring Valley 24 at 7:54 of the first quarter. The Timberwolves didn’t take advantage of that turnover, but did with the next one, another pass difficult to fault Landers, who finished 12 for 25 for 151 yards.
Cole Diamond intercepted Landers off a tipped ball and returned it 15 yards to the Capital 25 with 4:54 to play in the first period. Four plays later, Luke Christopher scored on a hard 11-yard run at 3:16 of the first. Zane Porter’s extra point made it 7-0.
Porter nearly made it 14-0 when Nate Ellis’ pass for him in the end zone was just high during a second-quarter drive that ended on downs at the Cougars’ 3 with 4:36 left in the half.
No. 11 Capital advanced to the Spring Valley 48 on a 42-yard pass from Landers to Kerion Martin, but the drive stalled and Spring Valley led 7-0 at halftime.
The Timberwolves opened the third-quarter scoring with a 32-yard field goal by Porter, then with 3:08 left in the period used a 69-yard run by Brody Brumfield to push their lead to 17-0.
Brumfield, a cousin of former Spring Valley stars Trey and Graeson Malashevich, who play at Kentucky Christian and West Virginia University, respectively, finished with a career-high 117 yards on 10 carries. Christopher ran for 68 yards, Nate Ellis 59 and David Livingston 41 for the Timberwolves, who rushed for 318 yards.
“He’s been playing well lately,” Dingess said of Brumfield. “That shows our depth in the backfield. All of our guys might be stars on other teams, but in the wing-T they share the carries and don’t care who gets the glory.”
Ellis scored on a 7-yard keeper with 10:01 left in the fourth quarter and later threw a 70-yard pass to Livingston to set up Christopher’s 10-yard TD run that set the final score.
The victory was Spring Valley’s seventh in a row over the Cougars, all of them coming since the 2016 season.
“Oh no,” Dingess said after being asked if he ever thought Spring Valley would beat perennial power Capital seven consecutive times. “No. No. No. No.”
Dingess said he looks forward to the matchup with Cabell Midland, which defeated the Timberwolves 28-21 on Sept. 13.
“It might be the shortest game in the state that day,” Dingess said, alluding to both teams’ penchant for running the ball.