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News and Notes: Schuylkill League

By Michael Bullock: 

Herb bags another record as Vikings rally

Suffering through a lackluster opening half — Williams Valley netted just 6 yards during this stretch — Bryce Herb and his Vikings teammates found a way following the break as they rescued a 35-28 victory over backyard playmates Tri-Valley. Just 1-for-10 in the first two quarters, Herb targeted four of his eight second-half throws for 90 of his 96 yards and three touchdowns as Tim Savage’s club banked its fifth consecutive victory and moved closer to the top seed in the District 11 Class 1A playoffs. Two of Herb’s touchdown aerials went to Jake Herman (4-79), the second enabling the 6-foot-1 senior to move into the top spot on Williams Valley’s all-time passing chart — one rung above his father, Paul Herb. Bryce Herb added a 17-yard throw to Brady Evans in the fourth quarter that snapped a 28-all deadlock and propelled the Vikings to the Schuylkill 2 result.  added 109 yards and one rushing touchdown, all after moving to tailback at the break, for the resilient Vikings. While Engle (14), Jackson Yoder (18) and Isaac Whiteash (12) combined for 44 tackles, Engle, Whiteash, Herman and Logan Williard picked off Jonas McGrath passes during the 48-minute exercise. Savage’s group also registered five tackles for loss and a pair of quarterback sacks. Up next for Williams Valley (6-1, 6-0) is a trip to suburban Tamaqua for a dustup with a struggling Marian Catholic side (1-6, 1-4) that last weekend dropped its fourth game in a row. Limited to 79 offensive yards while yielding 518, the Colts suffered a 25-0 setback to Minersville. Marian proved susceptible through the air as Minersville freshman Connor Schwalm threw for 350 yards and three touchdowns against the Colts’ defensive group.

Tri-Valley hoping to bounce back immediately

Despite authoring an impressive first half that had Tri-Valley sitting fairly comfortably on a 21-7 cushion — Tri-Valley’s defense conceded a mere 6 yards — Jeff Sampson’s Bulldogs wound up falling 35-28 at Williams Valley. Jonas McGrath completed 10 of his 17 pass attempts for 212 yards and two touchdowns, but he also ran for a third score. Unfortunately, McGrath was picked off four times by Williams Valley linebackers and defensive backs. McGrath hooked up with Chase Herb for TDs covering 33 and 42 yards, while the 6-3, 215-pound Herb added a third score on the ground while rushing 21 times for 105 yards. Freshman Layne Yoder caught four McGrath aerials for 57 yards, while Caden Richards snared two tosses for 37 yards and Herb wound up with three catches for 78 yards. Richards had yet another big outing defensive, accumulating 12 tackles, three more than sophomore defensive end Jake Scheib. Up next for Sampson’s Bulldogs (3-1, 3-1) is a visit to Schuylkill 2 entry Panther Valley (2-5, 2-3). Panther Valley halted a four-game skid last weekend by defeating Shenandoah Valley 34-6.

Pine Grove chasing success in regular-season finale

Sitting at No. 5 in the District 11 Class 3A power rankings — and just behind Tamaqua — Pine Grove hopes to keep its postseason hopes alive by dealing the host Blue Devils (4-3, 2-3) a Schuylkill 2 setback. Frank Gaffney’s Cardinals dropped a 28-20 decision to Lehighton last weekend, even though Ayden Ney rushed for 156 yards — 99 came on a length-of-the-field touchdown run — on 12 carries and Brody Robinson added 62 lengths and two touchdowns on 11 touches. Sophomore Mason Kroh made his second straight start at quarterback, completing six of his 14 passes for 78 yards. Kroh, however, was picked off three times. Shea Morgan continued his impressive work on the flanks, snaring five Kroh aerials for 57 yards. Robinson was a factor defensively with his 19 stops, three more than Morgan and Colin Ibarra.

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