Valley 45, Indianola 17
West Des Moines, Ia. — Tyus Mason sat through West Des Moines Valley’s bye week and tried not to think about what his team had already done.
Instead, he tried to focus on what they could still accomplish.
The Tigers scored 31 unanswered-second half points and avoided an unprecedented three-game losing streak with a 45-17 thumping of Indianola at Valley Stadium on Friday night.
“We struggled for awhile, but we turned it around,” Mason said.
The Tigers (3-2) struggled throughout parts of the first half Friday and trended toward their early troubles. After winning its first two games of the season, Valley lost back-to-back contest for the first time since 2009.
Valley’s last victory was a 45-21 win over Waukee on Aug. 24. Since then, they’ve gone nearly a month without a victory and dropped from the Class 4-A rankings.
They spent last week regrouping, not revisiting the past, during their bye week.
“We just worked on the basics, tried to make sure we were doing everything correct,” Mason said.
Nearly everything went according to plan for the Tigers on Friday.
The Tigers racked up 484 yards of total offense, including 314 on the ground. Leading the way was Mason, who rushed for a game-high 265 yards and three touchdowns on 20 carries.
With Valley trailing 17-14 at the half, Mason kicked the scoring spree off for the Tigers in the third quarter when he broke loose for a 95-yard touchdown run.
“Things weren’t coming easy at that point,” Valley coach Gary Swenson said. “(When) we can take a run that distance, it’s a real shot in the arm.”
Indianola (4-2), which had tallied 195 yards of total offense in the first half, only managed 63 after halftime as it went into an offensive drought.
“Offensively, we stalled out,” Indianola coach Eric Kluver said.
Valley’s offense, meanwhile, got kick-started as quarterback Tanner Stine connected with Tanner Hinkle for a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns.
Kicker Alex Langer also booted a 46-yard field goal in the final quarter.
“We needed the second half,” Swenson said.
Stine finished with 191 passing yards and the two touchdowns. Hinkle grabbed six passes for 131 yards.
Austin Dittmer grabbed four passes for 122 yards for Indianola, including an 81-yard touchdown catch on the Indians’ first offensive play of the game.
Mason said there is still hope around the team that struggled early in the season.
“We just played a good team and we’ve got a lot more games to play,” Mason said.
Val – 14
Ind – 43-97
Val – 30-293
Ind – 161
Val – 191
Ind – 9-14-1
Val – 11-17-0
Ind – 1-13
Cal – 3-69
Ind – 0-0
Val – 1-1
Ind – 5-56
Val – 7-74
Indianola – 10 7 0 0 — 17
Valley – 14 0 7 24 — 45
I–Dittmer 81 pass from Crawford (Jensen kick)
V–Mason 76 run (Langer kick)
I–FG Jensen 36
V–Mason 2 run (Langer kick)
I–Beard 15 pass from Smith (Jensen kick)
V–Mason 95 run (Langer kick)
V–FG Langer 46
V–Hinkle 47 pass from Stine (Langer kick)
V–Hinkle 34 pass from Stine (Langer kick)
V–Gray 18 run (Langer kick)
Rushing–Indi.: Mitchell 13-45, Johnson 8-23, Crawford 6-19, Smith 10-19; Valley: Mason 20-253, Gray 4-33, Hinkle 1-13, Stine 2-2.
Passing–Indianola: Smith 8-13-1-80, Crawford 1-1-0-81; Valley: Stine 11-17-0-191.
Receiving–Indianola: Dittmer 4-122, Beard 2-20, Gioffredi 1-9; Valley: Hinkle 6-131, Boffeli 3-53.