English Valleys handed tough loss at Springville

The English Valleys football team played with a chip on their shoulder when they traveled to face Springville, closing out their season on October 20. With playoff aspirations vanishing weeks ago, the coaching staff was looking for improvement in their final game.

The Bears leaned on their experienced players, while mixing in some more young talent on the field. The lone senior, Brayden Fisher, led the way on both sides of the field.

"Brayden set the tone early for our team with some big hits on defense," Bears coach Mike Gerard said. "We continued to hit hard on offense and defense all night."

With the pass game faltering the past few games, the Bears relied more on the run early on in the game. The Bears drew first blood when Clayton Moore was able to find a hole and get to the end zone for a 35-yard score. E.V. continued to hold Springville scoreless, while the offense put up another score. Going into the half, Springville was able to break the Bears' defense once with a long pass play for a score.

"We stopped their run game early and our defense played great the first half," Gerard said.

The second half was a different story, with Springville cashing in on more points and eventually taking the lead for good. The Bears had their chances, but they couldn't finish out long drives on multiple attempts.

"We had opportunities to score with the ball inside the seven-yard line and turned it over twice," Gerard said. "Penalties also hurt us in the red zone."

E.V. was able to close the gap, but never take the lead back. In the end, Springville walked away with a 28-26 win.

Cooper Andreassen was part of three E.V. touchdowns, two on the ground and one through the air. He racked up 116 yards rushing on 33 attempts, while also throwing a short seven-yard scoring pass to Fisher. Moore also finished the game with 63 rushing yards on seven carries. Fisher caught four balls for 73 yards on the night.

On defense, Andreassen also led the team in tackles with 14, 10 solo and one sack. Daniel Tapken and Nolan Grove, both sophomores, combined for 24 tackles, 19 solo, four for a loss of yards and two sacks. John Fisher was also a force for the Bears with 10 tackles, eight solo, two for a loss of yards and one sack.  

"It's always good to finish with a good game," Gerard said. "When it's the last game of the season and you are not going to the playoffs you never know how the players will react. For them to come out and play as hard as they did, it says a lot about our team."