Heritage racks up first 10 points, but Loudoun Valley collects last 21 in key conference win
Final score –
Loudoun Valley Vikings (3-0) 0 14 14 7 = 35
Heritage Pride (2-1) 10 7 0 0 = 17
1 / 8:27 – Heritage TD (Luke Schaub 25-yd run; Bryan Henríquez kick)
1 / 2:25 – Heritage FG (Bryan Henríquez 37-yd kick)
2 / 6:00 – Loudoun Valley TD (Tyler Hunt 22-yd run; Cameron Hippler kick)
2 / 2:31 – Loudoun Valley TD (Nick Kallivokas 22-yd pass to Duron Norris; Cameron Hippler kick)
2 / 2:14 – Heritage TD (Alex Carlin 68-yd pass to Gio Wooten; Bryan Henríquez kick)
3 / 7:31 – Loudoun Valley TD (Tyler Hunt 1-yd run; Cameron Hippler kick)
3 / 3:05 – Loudoun Valley TD (Tyler Hunt 7-yd run; Cameron Hippler kick)
4 / 7:25 – Loudoun Valley TD (Nick Kallivokas 16-yd pass to Duron Norris; Cameron Hippler kick)
Heritage High School, Leesburg, Va. (September 9, 2016) — Anthony Long wanted to see how his team would react when they got punched – proverbially – in the mouth.
Well, that’s exactly what the head coach got to see. And he liked what he saw.
Long’s Vikings of Loudoun Valley High School exacted a measure of revenge on the Pride of Heritage High School, coming away with a 35-17 decision on the road in Leesburg. Going up against the same team (with the same all-star quarterback) that beat them last year, but playing in their place this time…then going down 10-0 in the first quarter…then a sudden injury requiring a shuffling of the offensive backfield — it wasn’t a punch in the mouth the Vikings endured; more like a few dozen nicks from a razor.
“We got a little fight to us. I was worried about when we got smacked in the face, what would happen. I wonder that with every team,” said Long, whose squad takes an important early lead in the Conference 21-B standings. “They don’t panic, they don’t get at each other, they just come right back at it.”
The Vikings went into battle with their own fine returning senior quarterback, Nick Kallivokas, and a hard-running senior back, Tyler Hunt, and a young but big and gelling offensive line. And those guys, when Heritage was up by 10 and the pro-Pride crowd got quite loud, turned it on to the tune of four touchdowns in a quarter-and-a-half so the other side got to cheer.
“They just kept getting better as the game went on,” Kallivokas complimented his hefty friends up front. “They made adjustments at halftime and came out and crushed ’em.”
Heritage’s three-point halftime lead was erased by the midpoint of the third quarter, never to return. Alex Carlin, last year’s Offensive Player of the Year for Conference 21-B, became less dimensional as the Pride abandoned the running game in favor of Carlin’s aerial potency and scrambling threat. It didn’t work, as Valley’s defense rose to the fore.
“Our defense stepped up big-time in the second half,” Long said. “Carlin’s tough to gameplan for. We played a lot of man-to-man tonight, because if he breaks contain, he’s hard to defend. But what helped was our offense sustaining drives.”
Heritage head coach Reed Prosser saw two good teams settling it on the gridiron, and though disappointed in the setback, he sees cause for optimism.
“That was a close game. They made some plays, especially with [Duron Norris]. I thought we played with them the whole time,” Prosser said. “Really, it was a game of two short fields, and that stretched the game out, but I was really pleased with how we played, did a lot of good things.”
In the early going, things were going rather well indeed for the home team. On Heritage’s opening possession, Carlin stuffed the ball into the gut of Luke Schaub, who took it straight up the gut for a 25-yard touchdown.
R.J. Wallace fielded Valley’s subsequent punt and returned it 10 yards when it looked like there were none to be had. Carlin pulled off a 25-yard scramble as the Pride drove to the Vikings’ 20, but they had to settle for a field goal off Bryan Henríquez‘s left foot.
Valley found rhythm in their first drive of the second stanza, though the tune nearly stopped. Kallivokas connected with Norris to salvage a 3rd-&-9 conversion, then handed it to Hunt who fished around for space, swimming past innumerable tackle tries before landing the TD.
A poor Pride punt put Valley at midfield, and a few plays later, Kallivokas lobbed a easily catchable pass that Norris’s 6-foot-3 height easily caught in the deep corner of the end zone. Vikings up 14-10.
“It’s awesome [having Norris],” Kallivokas said of his fellow senior. “He just goes up and gets the touchdown. It’s great.”
The Pride was undaunted. Seventeen ticks off the clock later, Carlin was flinging the football far down the field where teammate Gio Wooten was the only one anywhere around. Wooten caught it well behind the secondary and motored the remaining 30 yards. Pride up 17-14 at intermission.
The third quarter dawned bright for Heritage, as Carlin lofted a beautiful spiral down the sideline to D.J. Hutcherson, coverting a third down. On the Valley 27, the drive stalled and was turned over. The Pride’s defense held and the Vikings punted it back.
Then came the turning point.
Wallace corralled the punt and began to dance. The shifty sophomore flung himself about in search of space, but his wildly flailing arm got too loose with the ball and it was knocked free of his clutch. A guy in a green Valley jersey fell on it.
Reinvigorated, the Vikings took just two plays – a 31-yard pass to Norris and a 1-yard plunge by Hunt – to hit paydirt. The first of three second-half Heritage turnovers led directly to the first of three second-half Valley touchdowns.
Down 21-17, the Pride’s defense stiffened when next Valley reached the red zone. On a 3th-&-11 from the 14, Kallivokas threw an incomplete pass through the end zone, but a late flag from the back judge ruled pass interference and awarded a fresh set of downs on the doorstep. Hunt then surged past initial contact to reach the goal.
“Oh my goodness, our o-line was doing so good,” Hunt exclaimed. “I hardly had to do any work to get through. They were opening huge holes for me. They really won the game for us.”
The Vikings then denied Carlin on a 4th-&-short keeper, putting their offense back in control. They rode Hunt for a time-killing drive, setting up Kallivokas’s second connection with Norris, a spectacular leaping snag way over his defender.
“That combination of Tyler inside and Duron outside, that’s tough,” said Long, glad to say it.
Norris, a senior, missed Valley’s contest versus Heritage a year ago. He was glad to be part of the payback.
“Last year I was injured so I didn’t get to play, even though I wanted to be out there,” Norris said. “This year, it was a lot of fun to be out there. I knew if we played to our strength, we’d get it done.”
After the teams’ respective postgame meetings, a couple Valley players came over to Prosser for a handshake and a hug. After exchanging pleasantries, Prosser called after the Vikings.
“See you guys in November!” the Pride coach promised.
Loudoun Valley stats –
Rushing: Tyler Hunt 28-180, 3 TDs; Nick Kallivokas 11-45; Jake Huerbin 8-38; Derek Goings 1-14
Passing: Nick Kallivokas 8 of 16 for 102, 2 TDs; Derek Goings 0 of 1 for 0
Receiving: Duron Norris 5-76, 2 TDs; Jake Huerbin 1-17; Sam Allen 1-9; Tyler Hunt 1-0
Heritage stats –
Rushing: Alex Carlin 14-69; Luke Schaub 12-67, 1 TD; Alejandro Calderon 1-3; Tyrique Moss 1-(-4)
Passing: Alex Carlin 9 of 18 for 16, 1 TD, 1 INT
Receiving: Aaron Maisus 4-40; Gio Wooten 3-81, 1 TD; D.J. Hutcherson 1-31; Tyrique Moss 1-4
Other scores –
Freedom 14, Park View 0
Dominion 29, Rock Ridge 6
Woodgrove 49, Loudoun County 0
Potomac Falls 46, Falls Church 16
Broad Run 28, Langley 3
Madison 19, Stone Bridge 15
Hayfield 26, Tuscarora 20
South Lakes 28, Briar Woods 21
Strasburg 22, Riverside 8 (Thurs.)
Off week for: Champe
VivaLoudoun: We Live For Loudoun™
Written by Jason S Rufner
for Viva Loudoun Media Communications