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Senior Jae’Len Arnum made a great effort to score the go-ahead touchdown on a 1-yard run when the Warriors’ football team earned a 33-28 come-from-behind victory against Rockville on Nov. 1. Valley Regional-Old Lyme now stands at 6-1 on the season following the win. (Photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier | Buy This Photo)
Junior Ryan Shasha and the Valley boys’ soccer team took a 3-2 loss against Haddam-Killingworth in the Shoreline Conference Tournament semifinals after the Cougars prevailed by a 5-4 margin in a penalty-kick session. (Photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier | Buy This Photo)
Sophomore Tory Rider and the Warriors’ field hockey squad played a marathon contest against North Branford in the Shoreline Conference Tournament semifinals last week. The Thunderbirds came away with a 2-1 victory in triple overtime on Oct. 29. (Photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier | Buy This Photo)
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The Valley Regional-Old Lyme football team rallied for an exciting 33-28 road win over Rockville in a Pequot Conference intra-division battle on Nov. 1. Valley-Old Lyme trailed Rockville until the final seconds of the game, when senior Jae’Len Arnum scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 1-yard run following a long fourth-down conversion by the Warriors. Head Coach Tim King’s team improved its record to 6-1 on the season and also climbed into the No. 7 spot in the Class S State Playoff rankings, in which the top eight teams qualify.
The Warriors received an outstanding game from Jason O’Brien, who hauled in three touchdowns and 117 yards on nine receptions. The senior also had an interception on defense. Sophomore quarterback Jack Cox threw two touchdown passes and went 12-of-20 passing for 217 yards. Valley’s pass defense was relentless in the victory. Junior Arick Outama picked off two passes, while Garrhett Watrous and Colby Andrews both snared an interception for the Warriors.
Valley and Rockville (5-3) battled back and forth with the Rams striking first on a 33-yard touchdown pass for a 7-0 lead in the first quarter. In the second quarter, the Warriors scored a touchdown on a 21-yard pass from senior captain quarterback Ryan Santos to O’Brien. After missing on the extra point, Valley trailed Rockville 7-6. Valley got into the end zone again when Nick Braga ran it in from six yards out. Valley couldn’t convert on the 2-point conversion and held a 12-7 lead. Later in the quarter, Rockville scored on a 35-yard touchdown pass to make it 14-12. With 3:15 remaining in the half, Rockville scored a TD on a 15-yard sweep play to take a 21-12 advantage into halftime.
Four minutes into the third quarter, Valley scored on a 10-yard pass from Cox to O’Brien, after which Brian Funk kicked home the extra point to close the gap to 21-19. Five minutes later, the Warriors scored another touchdown when Cox found O’Brien on a 15-yard pass. Braga ran in the 2-point try and Valley-Old Lyme had a 27-21 advantage.
In the fourth quarter, Rockville scored on a 3-yard touchdown run and then kicked the extra point to take a 28-27 lead. With 30 seconds left in the game, Valley converted on 4th-and-18 when Cox scrambled and connected with Arnum on a pass to the 1-yard line. On the next play, Arnum got the ball and bounced off three defenders on a counter to take it over the goal line for a 33-28 Warriors’ lead. Valley iced the victory on an interception by Andrews with 20 seconds left in the game.
Up next for the Warriors is a Pequot Conference Sassacus Division home game against Lewis Mills (0-8, 0-6). Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 9 at Valley Regional High School.
The Warriors squared off against Haddam-Killingworth in a Shoreline Conference Tournament semifinal match at the Indian River Complex on Nov. 1. No. 2 seed Valley lost a 3-2 decision against the 3rd-seeded Cougars in a game that was decided by 5-4 advantage in penalty kicks. The Warriors have an overall record of 10-3-4 as they get ready to play in states this week.
Valley got out to an encouraging start when sophomore Keenan Pindar took a throw-in into the box to set up junior Ryan Shasha for a goal to make it 1-0 early in the first half. Valley held a one-goal advantage until the Cougars scored the equalizing goal at the 16-minute mark. With eight minutes left in the first half, Valley netted the go-ahead goal when freshman Jake Burdick got the ball to senior captain Sean Cole on a corner kick, and Cole put it home for a 2-1 lead.
In the second half, the Cougars were able to draw the score even by scoring a goal with 20 minutes left to play in the match. The contest went to overtime, but would ultimately have to be decided by penalty kicks after neither side scored during OT. Haddam-Killingworth edged Valley by a 5-4 margin in the PK session to win the game.
Next up for the Warriors is the Class M State Tournament. No. 12 seed Valley, which went 10-2-4 on the regular season, will host Bacon Academy in the first round at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 6. If the Warriors win, they will either play at No. 5 seed Lewis Mills or host 28th-seeded Rocky Hill in the second round at 2 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 8. The quarterfinals are on Saturday, Nov. 10; the semis take place on either Tuesday, Nov. 13 or Wednesday, Nov. 14; and the championship game will be held on Saturday, Nov. 17.
The Valley girls’ soccer team begins play in the Class M State Tournament as the No. 26 seed this week.
The Warriors, who went 6-8-2 during the regular season, will head to Wolcott for a first-round game at 5 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 5. If Valley wins, it will either play at the winner of 10th-seeded Weston and No. 23 seed Plainville in the second round at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 7. The quarterfinals are on Friday, Nov. 9; the semis take place on either Monday, Nov. 12 or Wednesday, Nov. 13; and the championship game will be held on Saturday, Nov. 17.
Valley Regional played North Branford in the Shoreline Conference Tournament semifinals and took a 2-1 defeat in a game that required three overtime periods to decide. The Warriors entered the tourney as the No. 3 seed and faced off against the 2nd-seeded Thunderbirds at the Indian River Complex in Clinton on Oct. 29. Valley’s overall record stands at 10-4-1-2 with states on the way.
Mia Cost made 12 saves in the game for the Warriors, and Head Coach Beth McCabe Powers said that every one of those saves required a tremendous effort from the senior captain goalkeeper. Valley took a 1-0 lead on an unassisted goal by Tory Rider at the 19:13 mark of the first half. Valley held on to its one-goal lead until there was 3:15 remaining in the game, when North Branford scored the tying goal to send it to overtime. Most of the game was played in the midfield during the OT sessions. Ultimately, North Branford came away with the victory by netting the winning goal in the third overtime period.
Even though the Warriors were unable to get the win, Coach McCabe Powers felt proud of her squad for giving an outstanding effort and leaving everything on the field versus North Branford.
“It’s always difficult to lose, but it’s the best effort we gave against any team this season,” said McCabe Powers. “It would have been great to hold them out, but we gave a tremendous effort, and that’s all I can ask.”
On deck for the Warriors is the Class S State Tournament, in which they are the No. 8 seed. Valley, which went 10-3-1-2 on the regular season, hosts 9th-seeded Litchfield for a first-round game at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 6. If the Warriors win, they will either play at top-seeded Granby or host the winner of No. 16 seed Bethel and No. 17 seed Wamogo in the quarterfinals on Thursday, Nov. 8. The semifinals take place on either Tuesday, Nov. 13 or Wednesday, Nov. 14; and the championship game will be held at Wethersfield High School on Saturday, Nov. 17.
The Warriors played at East Hampton in the quarterfinals of the Shoreline Conference Tournament last week. No. 7 seed Valley lost a 3-0 decision against the 2nd-seeded Bellringers at East Hampton High School on Oct. 29. The Warriors finished the season with an overall record of 4-17
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