By Sean Duffy
Elyria, OH– Week 6 in the 2019 high school football season is upon us, it is crunch time for a lot of teams. Weather is getting cooler and the playoff push is starting to heat up for a lot of teams. Time is running out to secure a coveted position in the 2019 post season. Such is the case the teams featured in this week’s game of the week. The Valley Forge Patriots (3-2, 2-2) travel to take on the Elyria Catholic Panthers ( 2-3, 1-4) in a Great Lakes Conference match-up of great importance. Each team is coming into tonight’s game trying to bounce back from a week 5 loss. It is sure to be a great game between two teams looking to get back on track in time for a playoff push.
Elyria Catholic wasted no time getting on the scoreboard when junior QB Steven Navalinsky connected with senior WR Connor Trockley for a 75 touchdown pass and the Panthers took a 7-0 lead with 10:28 remaining in the quarter. After forcing Valley Forge to punt, the Panthers drove the ball deep into Patriot territory and were looking to score again, but a costly fumble gave Valley Forge the ball on their own 35 yd line. The Patriots would plod their way 65 yds for a touchdown, a 2 yd TD run from sophomore RB Trell Marks, to bring the 1st quarter to an end with the game tied 7-7. https://twitter.com/sotpodcast/status/1180261793798787077?s=21
Just as they did to open the first quarter, Navalinsky would connect with Trockley for another score this time for 27 yds, Elyria Catholic now led 14-7 with 11:42 left in the half. The Panther defense would force a turnover on downs on the next Valley Forge offensive possession. Navalinsky hit for a long TD pass for the second time on the night this time to WR Jaret Frantz for 79 yds. Due to an injury to their long snapper, the panthers elected to go for and converted a 2 pt conversion, Panthers now led 22-7. The Panthers offense would add to their lead on their next offensive possession with yet another big play, this time an 87 yd run from freshman RB Levi Ellis who was tackled on the 1 yd line. Ellis would finish the job on the next play with a 1 yd TD run, Elyria Catholic held a 29-7 lead as the first half came to a close.
Valley Forge would get the ball to start the second half, as they did for most of the first half ran into a stout Panther defense but managed to get a 25 yd Field Goal from senior K Chris Hein. Elyria Catholic would then go on to score 14 unanswered points. The first touchdown came from Senior RB Nathan Damron’s bruising 31 yd TD run, the second would be a 51 yd TD from Navalinsky, his fourth of the night, to WR Zachary Gorczyca. by the end of the 3rd quarter Elyria Catholic held a 43-10 lead.
A running clock, and a stout defensive unit was all Elyria Catholic needed in the fourth quarter as they were able to stifle Valley Forge’s fourth down on the panther 5 yd line to secure to the 43-10 victory.
Valley Forge falls to 3-3 overall and 2-3 in the Great Lakes Conference. They will look to bounce back in week 7 in a non conference match-up at Garfield Heights.
Elyria Catholic improves to 3-3 overall and 2-3 in the Great Lakes Conference. They were led by player of game QB Steven Navalinsky who threw for 4 touchdowns on the night. The Panthers will look to continue their winning ways in week 7 at Fairview.