PREP FOOTBALL: Pleasant Valley edges Holly Pond 15-14

Holly Pond’s Sawyer Olinger pulls away from defenders in the Broncos’ 15-14 loss to Pleasant Valley Friday night. (Katie Drummond/The Cullman Tribune)

HOLLY POND, Ala. – The Pleasant Valley Raiders visited the Holly Pond Broncos Friday night and were able to leave with a tight, 15-14 victory over the Broncos.

The Raiders won the toss and elected to defer to the second half. Pleasant Valley surprised the Broncos with an onside kick and recovered the ball on the Bronco 46-yard line. Three plays later, Holt Bentley took the ball 45 yards for a Raider touchdown and Pleasant Valley led 6-0 early.

The Broncos came back with a scoring drive of their own that started on their own 30. Boston Gibbs had seven carries on the drive for 34 yards before scoring on a 23-yard pass from Sawyer Olinger to tie things up at 6.

Both teams had to punt on their next possession and the Raiders started their third possession on the Bronco 43. Quarterback Braxton Salster found wide receiver Hunter Sparks for a 32-yard gain down to the Bronco 11 and from there Holt Bentley scores his second touchdown to put Pleasant Valley in front 12-6 at the halftime break.

The Raiders received the kickoff to start the third quarter and Bentley returned the kick 44 yards all the way down to the Bronco 30-yard line. Pleasant Valley drove the ball down to the 20 but the Broncos defense stopped the Raiders there and Pleasant Valley had to settle for a 37-yard field goal that made it a 15-6 game.

The Broncos got the ball back on their own 42 and they were able to drive the ball down to the Raider’s 1-yard line. That’s where Olinger called his own number and punched it into the end zone to bring the Broncos within 3 and cut the lead to 15-12.

In the closing minutes of the fourth, Holly Pond had two opportunities to win the game. They turned the ball over on downs at the Raider 1-yard line but on the next play, Holly Pond’s defense tackled Bentley in the end zone for a safety and made it a 15-14 game.

After the free kick from the 20, Holly Pond started on the Pleasant Valley’s 37-yard line. The Broncos moved the ball down to the Raider 12 before, but an interception cut the Broncos drive short and Pleasant Valley was able to escape Holly Pond with a dramatic, 15-14 win.

The Broncos will be back on the road next week for another big regional matchup against Southeastern.

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