Sep 22, 2017
by Chase Gage
PARAGOULD, ARK — Valley View won Friday night’s conference opener against Paragould by a score of 42-20. The Blazers dominated this game from start to finish.
Senior running back Ryder Snell opened up the scoring early in the first quarter with a touchdown on the ground.
“We came in this week knowing we could pull out a win. We didn’t want to be cocky about it. We knew we had to establish the run and be able to throw the ball and I think we were successful with both,” Snell said.
He wasn’t done after just one touchdown, though. The Blazers drove the field late in the first quarter, finishing off their drive with another Snell touchdown, this time from two yards out. After Ben Brumfield made the extra point, the Blazers held a 14-0 lead with 16 seconds left in the first quarter.
The Rams responded in a big way when senior Jose Perez ran the ensuing kickoff all the way back to the 15-yard line. That return set up an eventual one-yard touchdown run by senior quarterback Trent Teager for Paragould. The extra point sailed through the uprights, and Valley View held a 14-7 lead with 11:18 left in the first half.
On the next drive, Valley View faced a 2nd and 20 at the Paragould 37-yard line after a holding penalty. Senior quarterback Joe Waleszonia was sacked for a 10-yard loss, setting up a 3rd and 30 at the Paragould 47-yard line. Waleszonia responded with a 47-yard touchdown run with 8:40 left in the second quarter. Brumfield drilled his third extra point of the game to extend the Blazer lead to 21-7.
Valley View had been dominating on the ground, but the passing game was struggling late into the second quarter. That all changed when Waleszonia connected with sophomore Sam Fagan for a 31-yard gain down to the Paragould 16-yard line.
On the next play, Snell took the ball down to the one-yard line, where senior Lehman McNabb punched it in for the score. With the extra point, Valley View led 28-7 with 5:49 until halftime.
After a three-and-out for the Rams, the Blazers took over at their own 46-yard line. Waleszonia found a receiver for a 24-yard gain down to the Rams’ 30-yard line. Valley View capped off the last drive of the first half with a two-yard touchdown from senior Mason Burnett to extend the Blazer lead to 35-7 going into the halftime locker room.
Halftime was dominated by the Paragould Pride Band. Seriously. I’ve raved about these guys before and will continue to do so. They are worth the admission price. Not often do high schools put on a full-fledged halftime show, but in Paragould it’s the norm. You’ve got to see these kids perform if you ever get the chance.
To kick off the second-half scoring, Valley View found the endzone once again, this time on a two-yard run by Waleszonia. Brumfield made his sixth and final PAT of the night to give the Blazers a commanding 42-7 lead with 4:28 left in the third quarter.
Paragould fought until the end and never gave up. Teager ran a 12-yard touchdown with 10:45 left in the game to cut the lead to 42-14. With just over a minute left, junior Erik Galvan caught a touchdown pass to set the final score of 42-20.
Valley View (3-1, 1-0 5A East) will host Forrest City (2-2, 1-0 5A East) next week, while Paragould (0-4, 0-1 5A East) will travel to Batesville (1-3, 0-1 5A East).
“Next week is going to be a tough game. We’ve never beaten Forrest City before. We’re gonna have to come out and show what we’ve been working on.”
SlingShot Sports will cover the Blazers again in Week 8 and Week 9 when they take on Greene County Tech and Nettleton, respectively.
We will also cover the Rams again in the season-closing rivalry game against the Golden Eagles from across town.