E.A. Sports Today

Raiders ‘Drew’ it up right

Pleasant Valley quarterback Drew Lewiski is safely in the end zone with his second touchdown of the game.

Pleasant Valley quarterback Drew Lewiski is safely in the end zone with his second touchdown of the game.

Pleasant Valley defenders appear to have stopped Weaver's Tyrik Hall short of the goal line late in the third quarter Friday night.

Pleasant Valley defenders appear to have stopped Weaver’s Tyrik Hall short of the goal line late in the third quarter Friday night.

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

JACKSONVILLE — When Drew Lewiski was a running back in Pleasant Valley’s offense last season he could affect part of a football game.

Now that he’s a quarterback, touching the ball every snap, he can affect the whole game. That’s why Raiders’ coach Jeff Davis moved him there.

Lewiski was the longest straw that stirred the Raiders’ drink Friday night, rushing for more than 200 yards and scoring three touchdowns to lead them to their first win of the season, 22-12 over Weaver.

The senior signal-caller ran for 203 yards on 23 carries and scored on runs of 87, 1 and 43 yards. He kept the chains moving with a fake punt and another fourth-down gain. And he passed for another 34 yards.

Weaver coach Daryl Hamby agreed Lewiski is an even more dangerous threat in his current role, but the quarterback wasn’t the only straw in Friday’s victory.

“We had a lot of better things (to talk about) than me scoring three touchdowns tonight,” he said. “We played as a ball team tonight.”

Indeed. The Raiders (1-1) have been a team looking a long time for something good to happen and they may have gotten it in their region opener.

They overcame heat, exhaustion, new players in the lineup – some thrust into roles during the game — and even a few broken plays to bounce back from an opening-night shutout loss to a team it played to the wire a year ago.

“That was huge for our kids and our community,” Davis said. “You looked in their eyes at halftime and you thought, ‘Are we going to make it?’ We did all we could and they found another gear in the second half.

“I looked at those guys and you could see their wheels spinning, but I really didn’t think that they thought they could play another half. We made good things happen. We had a lot of kids grow up tonight. I’m tickled to death for them and the kids who played their butts off tonight.”

Among them were Logan Beadles, a ninth-grade lineman who made several big stops on defense; Nicholas Howard, a sophomore quarterback who had never taken a snap with the varsity before Friday night; and Kaleb Ferguson, who stepped in after free safety Elijah Borders got hurt in the first half. But they would only start the list.

Of course, Lewiski is the player everyone sees.

He opened the scoring with an 87-yard burst behind R.J. Simpson on the zone read and scored the first touchdown of the second quarter on a 1-yard quarterback sneak that presented for even more yardage later in the game. Dalton Bean caught a pass from Steven Pock after the second score to extend the Raiders’ lead to 15-6.

DeAngelo Forbes scored for Weaver between Lewiski’s touchdowns on a 30-yard run and Tyrik Hall rambled 14 yards up the middle after Lewiski’s second score. But the Bearcats missed both conversion attempts to leave it 15-12 at halftime.

They had a big chance to steal the momentum late in the third quarter after a Lewiski fumble, setting up a first-and-goal at the 5, but got nothing for the series.

Hall was stopped at the goal line on the first play, but thought he got in and was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct when he protested too loudly. The Bearcats never got it back inside the 15 and their 35-yard field goal attempt that would’ve tied the game never had a chance.

“That was very undisciplined on our part; nothing but selfish, that’s all you can say,” Hamby said. “We’re probably going to score. Our tailback is going to have a tough time not getting in; I’ve never seen him not get a yard.

“I hate to say it, but that was the turning point in the game. You can’t do things like that. We shot ourselves in the foot all night long.”

The Raiders eventually made them pay when Lewiski squeezed through the middle on a basic quarterback sneak that went for a 43-yard touchdown to give his team some breathing room.

“It always feels good to get a win, but it feels good whenever you have to work really hard for it,” Simpson said. “We just overcame a bunch of stuff tonight. We pushed a limit tonight we normally don’t push. I think this could be a foundation we can build onto and go from there.”

Pleasant Valley 22, Weaver 12

Weaver 6 6 0 0 — 12
Pleasant Valley 7 8 0 7 — 22

PV – Drew Lewiski 87 run (Dalton Bean kick)
W – DeAngelo Forbes 30 run (kick failed)
PV – Lewiski 1 run (Bean pass from Steven Pock)
W – Tyrik Hall 14 run (pass failed)
PV – Lewiski 43 run (Bean kick)

Wea PV
First downs 18 11
Rushing yds 139 256
C-A-I 12-23-2 2-6-0
Passing yds 105 33
Fumbles-lost 2-1 4-2
Penalties-yds 7-50 5-50
Punts-avg 2-42.5 3-18.7

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