After a slow start, Valley quarterback Cam Dooley and his teammates settled in, scoring enough in the second half to hang on for an 18-7 road win over Beauregard on Friday night.
Valley led 6-0 at halftime, before Dooley scored two touchdowns in the second half in what proved to be the difference.
In his first career start, Dooley finished 6-for-10 passing with 59 passing yards and a touchdown through the air, while also rushing 12 times for 99 yards and another score.
“Cam did a good job,” Valley head coach Adam Hunter said. “Sophomore, first game starting, I think he controlled the offense really well. It helps that he’s mobile. He threw his touch passes really well tonight and you know he threw the little throwback pretty good. I think he had a couple more drops that should’ve been caught that would’ve been good.
“You know that kid’s going to grow, he’s going to be better. Each week he gets his feet up under him, gets some more experience at this level, he’s going to do good things.”
After both teams started slow on offense, Valley broke the tie in the second quarter on special teams. With 8:18 left until halftime, Valley wide receiver Romel Jackson returned a blocked punt 22 yards for six points.
The two-point conversion failed after Jackson’s score, and heading into halftime, Valley led 6-0.
Once the second half began, the earlier rainfall ended and both offenses warmed up.
With 5:09 left in the third quarter and facing a 4th-and-goal, Dooley threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to give Valley a 12-0 lead.
Beauregard responded early in the fourth quarter with a touchdown pass of its own to make it a one-score game. Quarterback Cayden Adkins tossed a 17-yard touchdown to wide receiver Logan Ballew with 8:42 left in the game.
With only a 12-7 lead, Dooley and Valley needed a score to secure a win on opening night. The Rams did just that with 3:32 left as Dooley ran in for a 27-yard rushing touchdown to make it an 18-7 finish.
“I think we played hard, made a lot of mistakes early that kind of cost us,” Valley head coach Adam Hunter said. “We had a bad snap in the first quarter on the first drive where we were moving the ball pretty good, so that kind of put a damper on things. Hats off to our defense, we gave up one touchdown, but they played pretty good.
“And we grew up tonight, we’re playing a lot of sophomores so that’s a plus. We’ve got a long way to go, and we’ve got a lot of improving to do especially special teams, we’ve got to improve in that area. It’s a great win for these young guys and we’re just going to keep working and try to get better each week.”
Following the win, Valley will return home to host Lanett next Friday, while Beauregard will look for its first win when the Hornets host Booker T. Washington.
Valley 18, Beauregard 7
V 0 6 6 6 — 18
B 0 0 0 7 — 7
VAL — Romel Jackson 22 punt return (conversion failed), 8:18.
VAL — Quen Story 6 pass from Cam Dooley (conversion failed), 5:09.
BEA — Logan Ballew 17 pass from Cayden Adkins (XP good), 8:42.
VAL — Cam Dooley 27 run (XP failed), 3:32.