Photo by Gary Nieter, Times-Union

Tippecanoe Valley senior Alex Craft works his way through the Whitko defense for a long gain during the first quarter of Friday’s Three Rivers Conference football game at Whitko.
Photo by Gary Nieter, Times-Union Tippecanoe Valley senior Alex Craft works his way through the Whitko defense for a long gain during the first quarter of Friday’s Three Rivers Conference football game at Whitko.
SOUTH WHITLEY — Coming off of big wins last week, both the Tippecanoe Valley and Whitko football teams look to pull themselves up in the TRC standings with three games remaining in the regular season after Friday night.

Despite a 15-6 lead for the host Wildcats after the opening quarter, Valley would roar back and find their footing as they romped their way to a 57-24 victory Friday night.

“That was a rough half. That was one of the most stressful wins that we have had, at least for me,” said Tippecanoe Valley head football coach Stephen Moriarty.

Whitko (3-3 overall, 2-3 TRC) turned up the tempo from the very start, as junior return man Gavin Ness took the opening kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown.

The Valley response was quick, as junior wideout Rex Kirchenstein caught a 26-yard pass from junior quarterback Branson McBrier to get the Vikes (4-2 overall, 4-1 TRC) on the board.

Rather than making it a back-and-forth, as well as some early mistakes, Valley decided to put it away after the first quarter.

“Penalty-wise, this is something that we are going to have to fix,” said Moriarty. “I don’t know what it was tonight, but we had so many false starts, but those are things you can fix.”

Valley would out-score Whitko 51-9 in the second, third and fourth quarters.

McBrier would account for five touchdown passes, with two of them going to Kirchenstein. Junior flanker Jamasyn Virgil caught a scoring pass, rushed for a score and was successful on a two-point conversion attempt.

Senior Alex Craft also had a good night, scoring twice on the ground offensively, and recording a sack and an interception on defense.

In the loss, the Wildcats were held to just 12 yards rushing on 22 attempts. The air game did not have much issue, as senior quarterback Ethan Schuh was 11-for-20 for 191 yards, including a 54-yard pass to junior halfback Isaiah Kyles. Kyles also recorded an interception on defense.

While the ‘Cats could not quite catch up at the end, Moriarty noticed the fight in Whitko head football coach Phil Jensen and his players.

“Coach Jensen had his team ready to play,” said Moriarty. “I said [to the team] that I guarantee them that they were going to give us their best shot, and they did. He is such a good coach and he gets his players ready.”

The Vikings return home next Friday night, as they will host the Maconaquah Braves. Meanwhile, the ‘Cats will make the short trip to North Manchester to face the Manchester Squires.



TIPPECANOE VALLEY 57, WHITKO 24

TV          6   20  8   23 — 57

W    15   3   6    0  — 24

1st Qtr

W - Gavin Ness 90 kickoff return (11:44) Austin Kreps kick.

TV - Branson McBrier 26 pass to Rex Kirchenstein (10:32), kick failed.

W - Ethan Schuh 54 pass to Isaiah Kyles (2:56), Schuh pass to Cade Berg.

2nd Qtr

TV - Alex Craft 15 run (10:51), conversion failed.

TV - Craft 5 run (6:23),conversion failed.

W - Austin Kreps 33 field goal (3:35).

TV - Jacob Davis 10 pass from Branson McBrier (0:26) Alex Craft two point conversion good.

3rd Qtr

TV - Craft 18 pass from McBrier (3:35), Jamasyn Virgil two-point conversion.

W - Gavin Ness 9 run (2:22), conversion failed.

4th Qtr

TV - Virgil 27 pass from McBrier (10:52), Cisneros kick.

TV - Rex Kirchenstein 46 pass from McBrier (9:48), Craft two-point conversion.

TV - Virgil 17 run (3:03), Derek Carter pass from McBrier.