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Senior Jason O’Brien hauled in nine receptions for school-record total of 267 yards when the Valley Regional-Old Lyme football squad notched a 40-10 victory against Old Saybrook-Westbrook on Oct. 6. O’Brien also had one receiving touchdown, as well as an interception and a fumble recovery on defense for the Warriors, who improved to 4-0 with the win. (Photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier | Buy This Photo)
Senior captain Annie Cooper and the Valley field hockey team notched a win and a tie last week to qualify for the Class S State Tournament. Cooper scored a goal on a penalty corner in the Warriors’ 3-1 clinching win against Woodstock Academy on Oct. 2. (Photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier | Buy This Photo)
Sean Cole netted a goal and had an assist in the Valley boys’ soccer team’s 3-0 victory against East Hampton on Oct. 6. (Photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier | Buy This Photo)
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Senior wide receiver Jason O’Brien turned in a historic performance when the Valley Regional-Old Lyme (VR-OL) football team faced Old Saybrook-Westbrook (OS-W) last week. O’Brien broke a Valley school record by totaling 267 receiving yards on nine receptions to go with a touchdown as the Warriors claimed a 40-10 victory over the Rams at Old Saybrook High School on Oct. 6. With the win, Valley-Old Lyme improved to 4-0 overall with a record of 3-0 in the Pequot Conference Sassacus Division this season.
O’Brien also snagged an interception and had a fumble recovery on defense for the Warriors in their victory versus Old Saybrook. Senior captain Ryan Santos went 8-for-10 passing for 181 yards and two touchdowns for VR-OL. Jack Cox also saw some time at quarterback, throwing for 137 yards. Senior Jae’Len Arnum took the ball across the goal line four times by scoring three rushing touchdowns and catching a TD pass from Santos. The Warriors’ defense stifled OS-W behind great pass protection that forced the Rams to keep the ball on the ground, where they kept running into Valley’s formidable defensive front.
VR-OL got out to an inauspicious start with a fumbled kickoff that led to a touchdown for Old Saybrook (1-3, 1-1) just 17 seconds into the game. After falling behind 7-0, Valley embarked on a drive that culminated with 1-yard run from Arnum for the touchdown. Brian Funk kicked home the extra point to tie it 7-7. With a minute left in the first quarter, Santos hit O’Brien on a bubble screen that resulted in a 70-yard touchdown for the Warriors. O’Brien’s fellow receivers made key blocks that helped him scamper up the field for the score an a 14-7 advantage.
In the second quarter, VR-OL picked up another score on a 21-yard touchdown pass from Santos to Arnum with eight minutes left in the half. Funk’s successful PAT made the score 21-7. With a minute left in the half, OS-W blocked a punt by the Warriors that resulted in a field goal attempt from the Rams to bring the score to 21-10, which was how it stood at halftime.
In the third quarter, Arnum ran one in from a yard out to give the Warriors a 28-10 lead. Then on the subsequent kickoff, the Warriors forced a fumble that was recovered by Colby Andrews. That play led to a 1-yard touchdown run from Justin Badolato to make it 34-10. In the fourth quarter, Arnum punched it into the end zone with a 2-yard run for his fourth touchdown of the game.
Valley Old-Lyme has a bye for Week 6 play. The Warriors will go up against divisional opponent North Branford (2-2, 1-2) at Valley Regional High School at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 19.
Valley earned a win and a tie in last week’s matchups to improve to 6-1-1-1 on the season. The Warriors, who have qualified for the Class S State Tournament, notched a win against Woodstock Academy and then tied Westbrook later in the week.
On Oct. 2, the Warriors won a game on the road against Woodstock Academy by a 3-1 margin to make states. The game was played on soggy field in the driving rain. Freshman Abby Amara scored a pair of goals and had an assist for Valley in the win. Mia Cost made seven saves in the cage for the Warriors. Amara netted her two goals in the first half with Riley Millburne providing the assist on her first goal and Tory Rider getting the helper on the second goal. Annie Cooper scored Valley’s third goal in the second half off a penalty corner on assist by Millburne and Amara.
Two days later, the Warriors hosted Westbrook and batted the Knights to a 0-0 tie. Cost kept Westbrook off the board by making 13 saves.
After recently qualifying for the Class M State Tournament, the Warriors played two games last week and split the pair. Valley took its first defeat of the season by losing to Coginchaug, before grabbing a win against East Hampton. Head Coach Mick Fearon’s club is now 8-1-1 on the year.
On Oct. 2, Valley faced Coginchaug on the road and lost a 2-1 match against the Blue Devils. Valley started strong with an early goal from senior Michael Dilger off an assist from Chris Morales at the 2:30 mark in the first half. After that, Ryan Shasha had a shot that the Blue Devils’ keeper made a nice save on to keep the deficit at one. Near the end of the half, Coginchaug netted the equalizer. In the second half, Valley defended well despite being down a player from a red card, but Coginchaug scored on a free kick with just 1:50 left in the game to take a 2-1 lead. Goalkeepr Charlie Haughton had four saves for Valley, which was outshot 14-9 in the contest.
On Oct. 6, the Warriors claimed a 3-0 victory over East Hampton on the road. The Warriors were outshot by five, but were bolstered by 13 saves in goal from Haughton. Valley notched its first goal in 16th minute, when Morales chipped the ball over the Bellingers’ keeper and into the net off a helper from senior captain Sean Cole. Then with three minutes left in the half, Dilger scored on an unassisted goal to make it 2-0 at intermission. The second half was pretty even for both teams. After 56 minutes, Shasha got the ball on the left and passed it back to Cole, who netted a goal from seven yards out for a 3-0 command.
Valley played two matches last week and came away with a win and a loss. After taking a loss against Coginchaug early in the week, the Warriors rebounded with an non-conference victory over Fitch.
On Oct. 1, the Warriors lost a 3-0 contest at Conginchaug. The Blue Devils scored two goals in the first half then added another after halftime for the 3-0 final.
On Oct. 6, Valley hosted Fitch and scored a 1-0 shutout victory. After a scoreless first half in which the Warriors had a number of opportunities, Lexi Finnerty scored an unassisted goal midway through the second half for the only goal of the day. Valley improved to 2-3-2 on the year with the win.
The Warriors took four defeats last week to move to 2-10 on the season. Valley lost matches against Hale-Ray, Morgan, Coginchaug, and East Lyme in last week’s action.
On Oct. 1, the Warriors hosted Hale-Ray and lost a 3-0 match behind scores of 27-25, 25-13, and 25-22. Senior captain Emily Hutchinson had six kills, an ace, and a block, while fellow captain Maddy Just had five kills, one ace, six digs, and 17 receptions. Senior Zoe Hollwedel received 24 serves to go with her 18 digs, and sophomore Ava Boyles added six kills with two receptions. Sophomore Alena Crosby handed out 17 assists to go with one kill and a dig, while Carlee Kirla had four aces, six digs, and 12 receptions. Junior Reeve Fergueson notched three aces, two digs, and four receptions for the Warriors.
Two days later, Valley headed to Clinton and dropped a 3-1 (25-12, 15-25, 25-11, 25-18) contest against Morgan. Just had eight kills, one ace, six digs, and seven receptions for Valley. Hutchinson recorded three kills, two blocks, and four digs in the loss. Kirla had five kills, one block, and eight digs. Hollwedel served up a pair of aces to complement 15 receptions and 17 digs. Crosby had 21 assists with six digs in the match.
On Oct. 5, the Warriors lost a 3-0 contest against Coginchaug at home. The next day, Valley took a 3-0 defeat at East Lyme.
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