Trey Lewis‘ number was called for a simple play that set the tone for the 63rd meeting between Valley and Dowling Catholic in Friday’s Iowa High School Football Playoffs.
Lewis broke a couple of tackles and ran the ball 80 yards for a TD in the battle for West Des Moines. Valley never looked back rolling to a 45-20 win to advance to the semi-finals and improve to 12-0.
Dowling first possession was four plays, moving only 11 yards. That too felt like the tone, but upon further review, it wasn’t the entire story.
The Valley Tigers would follow the good defensive stand to run 20 plays, converting on three 3rd downs and two 4th down conversions. The 71 yard drive would only net a 32 yard FG by Nick Galles, but you started to get the sense Valley was in control.
The Maroons would go back to the air, only needing one play to find the endzone. Dan Hartlieb would find Amara Darboh for the first of three TD passes between the two. This one went 78 yards to pull DCHS within 3 just before the end of the 1st quarter. Darboh ended with 9 catches worth 180 yards. A great finish for the recruit of Michigan, Iowa, Wisconsin, Florida and Nortre Dame. The wide receiver was covered well Friday night, but he’s got a few more football games in his future. Hartlieb ended with 309 yards passing on 33 attempts and 20 completions.
The Tigers would come right back to their second quality back in Tyus Mason. The sophomore had two runs to get warmed up. His third carry went 70 yards, again breaking tackles, to get into the endzone. He would finish with 20 carries and 129 yards.
Ben Goaley followed with his only carry of the first half, a 12 yard gain. Reed Flood would catch a pass for 14 yards, but the Maroon drive would stall on the Valley 43.
Another sustained drive for the Tigers followed, highlighted by a 32 yard pass to Clint Boffelli from Jeff Pullen. The TD would come on the legs of Lewis. He would finish with 15 carries for 161 yards and not play in the second half. That made it 24-7 Valley.
Then the Tiger defense pitched a three and out. The offense came back out and another pass to the unlikely target of FB Brandon Ellingson. It was a 51 yard score. Dowling would not run enough time off the clock on the ensuing drive and Valley would get the ball back with less than 45 seconds before half. The Tigers would not sit on the ball, but go to the air again, this time to Tanner Hinkle to put Valley up 38-7 at the break.
The Tigers had 428 yards of offense in the first half. The Maroons totaled 158, with 78 of them coming on the Darboh TD catch. DCHS only had 13 yards rushing on 7 attempts.
The Maroons came out to run a sustained drive to start the second half riding the legs of senior Ben Goaley. But the drive would get to the Valley 10 and the Maroons would get as close as the five. Goaley ended with 14 carries and 91 yards.
Three quick Valley plays went nowhere and the Maroons got the ball back. Darboh would catch a pass to make it a 38-14 game.
More good Dowling Defense, but another drive would stall in the red zone, with the Maroons being stopped at the Valley 3.
Darboh would score again in the 4th, but it would not be enough as the Maroons end their season at 9-3 with a 45-20 loss.
Also, thanks to my on-air partners of Dave Marcoulier and Brian Morris, these two make doing games easy. And we also must thank Mark Amadeo for the opportunity.
And our broadcast producer Mike Peters with help from Matthew Phelps and Tim Burrow. Guys, thank you. See you next time.