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Spring Valley’s David Livingston returns an interception against Capital.

HUNTINGTON — Heading into a crucial matchup against the Capital Cougars, Spring Valley’s football team was looking for a way to take control of the pace early.

That’s exactly what the home-standing seventh-ranked Timberwolves did on their way to a 41-0 shutout victory over ninth-ranked Capital (3-2) Friday night at Spring Valley High School.

The Timberwolves (4-1) ran the ball 55 times for 230 yards, while Capital managed just 72 total yards on its 32 offensive plays.

Capital’s Kerion Martin fumbled the ball on the opening kickoff and the Timberwolves ate up more than half of the first quarter before Nate Ellis capped off the 12-play, 33-yard drive for the game’s first score.

“Our offense did a good job of controlling the line of scrimmage and controlling the clock. Methodically going down the field by running the ball is exactly what we wanted to do from the very beginning,” Spring Valley coach Brad Dingess said.

Four of the five scoring drives on offense began in plus territory, lending the advantage to the SVHS game plan of keeping the ball on the ground. Ellis scored three touchdowns from 2, 3, and 8 yards to give his team a 21-0 advantage by halftime.

Spring Valley’s first drive of the second half ended with a Luke Christopher fumble, giving Capital a small slice of momentum to open the second half. Yet the Cougars’ offense failed to move the ball and punted back to the Wolves, who began their next drive from midfield.

Christopher redeemed himself from the fumble, ending a 12-play, 50-yard drive with a 4-yard touchdown run to give Spring Valley a 28-0 lead.

Capital quarterback Evan Landers threw four first-half interceptions, but things went from bad to worse for the Cougars when he threw his fifth interception immediately following the SVHS scoring drive. Brody Brumfield returned the interception 37 yards for a touchdown, giving his team a 35-0 lead over the visitors.

“We schemed it up good. I thought we confused them a little with our coverages. We created some matchup problems,” said Dingess. “Our kids played well, smelled a little blood, and shut the door on them pretty quickly.”

The final quarter was played on a running clock and the game’s final score was set when Jace Caldwell scored his first career varsity touchdown, extending the lead to 41-0.