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Photo by Mike Hogan

HORNET FOOTBALL: Valley stops Campus at the goal line
By Chris Strunk
Last Updated: September 14, 2017

A failed two-point conversion was the difference in a hard-fought game Friday (Sept. 8) as the Valley Center High School football team improved to 2-0 with a 21-20 victory over Campus on the road.

“It took everybody," said coach Caleb Smith. “It took a great game plan on both sides. … Just an all-around great team victory."

Valley Center held a 14-0 halftime lead, but it was quickly cut to 14-7 in the third quarter.

The Hornets answered, but Campus scored twice in the fourth quarter, including a touchdown pass with 53 seconds left in the game. That's when the Colts decided to go for the win on a quarterback run.

“We kind of decided when we got the ball back — we talked about it — we were going to go for two and try to win it, knowing if we scored we had some momentum at that time," said Campus coach Greg Slade.

The Hornet defense stuffed the run near the goal line.

The Hornets had a defensive touchdown in the second quarter. Junior corner back Larry Wilson picked off a Federico Harvey pass and returned it 30 yards for the score.

The Hornets, led by junior quarterback Parker Schrater, in his first start since Wyatt Lange went down with an injury in the season-opener last week, kept the pressure on the Colt defense. Eight minutes into the second quarter, Schrater threw a 30-yard pass to senior receiver Dalton Cross, who jumped over the Colt defender and grabbed the ball out of the air, running in for the score and a 14-0 lead.

Campus came out of the locker room with some fire. The Colts used three big plays, including a 31-yard run by Harvey, to score their first touchdown just 35 seconds into the second half.

After trading possessions, Campus stopped a Hornet fourth-down try with two minutes left in the third quarter in the Campus half of the field.

Senior defensive lineman Patrick Gillen tipped a Harvey pass on first down, and linebacker Tyler Boone caught the ball to set up good field position.

Wilson, inspired in the second half, had gains of five, 10 and four to reach the fourth quarter.

On third-and-seven, Schrater threw a screen pass to Wilson, who shed a couple of tacklers to run for the 16-yard score, reminiscent of his touchdown during the first game of the season.

The Hornets appeared comfortable with a 21-7 lead, especially after senior linebacker Aaron Coash hit Harvey and forced a fumble that Gillen recovered on the Colts' next possession. But Valley came up short and Campus scored on a Harvey pass to inch closer.

The Colts' final drive started with 4:19 left in the game deep in their own territory. Harvey led the Colts to the touchdown with his arm and his legs, including a 17-yard pass to get inside the Valley Center 20. After targeting the right side with consecutive plays, Harvey connected with Tyler Kahmann over the middle for a 14-yard touchdown.

After calling a timeout, Campus lined up to go for two points. Harvey ran to the left, was grabbed from behind by linebacker Caleb Rains and the rest of the Hornet defense smothered the effort.

"It was a good, ugly win, but I want a good win. I want a big win," Gillen said.

Schrater led the Hornets into the victory formation to finish the contest.

Harvey finished with 85 yards rushing and 201 passing. Wilson ran for 78 yards and caught four passes.

Valley Center will host Ark City on Sept. 15.

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