The Central Valley Offense was in full gear tonight, recording a 52-6 win over High Plains Community in Wolbach
Junior running back Grady Kelly rushed for 150 yards and 5 touchdowns, while quarterback Dierks Nekoliczak kept them honest through the air with his 170 yards and two more scores, as Central Valley cruised to a 52-6 win over High Plains Community Thursday evening.
The Cougars struck first when their hard charging defense sacked High Plains punter Gavin Morris on a 4th and 7 situation.
Morris was spilled for a 6 yard loss and Central Valley had a short field of 24 yards to begin their initial drive of the Thursday night tilt.
After being flagged for a motion penalty on the Cougars very first play from scrimmage, Nekoliczak found Zaden Wolf for a 13 yard gain, Grady Kelly blasted up the git for a 7 yard gain to the High Plains 8 yards line.
A face mask infraction moved the ball to the three where Grady Kelly then scored his first of five touchdowns of the night.
Dierks Nekoliczak then hit Wolf for the double PAT, and the Cougars had an early 8-0 lead and enough points to eventually win the game.
The next Central Valley score came just 3:27 seconds later following a spectacular interception by Grady Kelly at the High Plains 32 yard line.
Three plays later, Kelly then skipped down the High Plains sideline, twisting, turning and bowling over Storm defenders for a 25 yard scoring run.
Two minutes thirty three seconds later, Kelly shook loose for a fabulous 68 yard touchdown dash after a booming Raul Moreno punt appeared to have Central Valley pinned back on their own 12 yard line.
It took just one play. One quarter in the books, a 24-0 Cougar lead.
Central Valley head coach Chip Bartos inserted his backup defense at this point in the game to gain some valuable game time experience, a classy move by a very good coach.
Grady Kelly continued his touchdown rampage when he scored for 7 yards out following a sweep 36 yard pass play hookup between Nekoliczak and the Cougar’s top receiver, Taesian Soto. The tall, lanky Soto broke numerous tackles on the 36 yard reception dash.
Central Valley quarterback Dierks Nekoliczak would connect with Zaden Wolf just 15 seconds left on the clock before halftime. Nekoliczak found Wolf right over the middle on a 3rd and 15 from the Cougar 26 yard line, and the speedy junior simply outran the High Plains defense to the promised land., giving the Cougars a commanding 38-0 lead at the break.
The entire second half was played with a running clock (35 point lead after halftime). Dierks Nekoliczak threw his second scoring pass of the game in that third stanza, a 35 yard connection with a wide, wide open Boston Wood, who jetted in for the six.
Grady Kelly added his 5th rushing touchdown of the perfect weather evening with a 15 yard run, and the Cougar scoring for the game was completed.
High Plains did hit the board in the 4th quarter running against the Central Valley reserves. Tough running senior Wyatt Urkoski, a powerful force in that Storm backfield, bolted in from the 5 yard line to notch the visitors only touchdown of the game.
As stated earlier, junior Grady Kelly led the Central Valley rushing attack with 150 yards and those FIVE touchdowns. That accounted for all but 8 yards of the Cougars total ground yardage.
Sharpshooter Diers Nekoliczak was 8 of 11 through the Wolbach air for 170 big ones and a pair of touchdowns. Zaden Wolf led all receivers with his 80 yards on four receptions and a score.
Defensively for the Central Valley, a trio of defenders had 10 tackles, juniors Zaden Wolf and Taesian Soto, along with FRESHMAN Landon Shoemaker hit double figures in the stops department. Shoemaker, whom I thought played extremely hard, had a pair of tackles behind the scrimmage line, and fellow freshman Gunnar Vanosdall recorded a sack of High Plains quarterback Haden Helgoth that was so vicious, it knocked the Storm signal caller’s helmet off.
Not far behind the trio of 10 tackle Cougars was Grady Kelly, who registered nine Tylenol inducing tackles.
I was also very impressed by the punting and late play of Freshman Lane Foltz, grandson of the great Gerald Foltz. Young Folts racked up 111 yards on 3 punts, booting a pair inside the High Plains red zone. Lane also picked off a High Plains pass on the game’s final play and may have suffered a collarbone injury on the return. We’ll keep our fingers crossed on that situation. Young Foltz is a very promising young player for the Cougars.
Urkoski’s 98 yards on 19 totes and a touchdown led the High Plains ground attack, while Haden Helgoth ended the game with 4 of 7 completions for 31 yards with an interception. High Plains rushed for 171 yards as a team.
Central Valley improves to 2-0 on the young 2023 season and will travel to Anselmo-Merna next Friday,, while High Plains will be seeking their first win of the season when they travel to meet East Butler, who is currently 0-1.
High Plains (0-2)…………..0……..0……0……...6………..6
At Central Valley (2-0)….24……14….14……..0……….52
1st Qtr.………………………………………………………………………........................HP -CV
CV- Grady Kelly 3 run - PAT-Zaden Wolf pass from Dierks Nekoliczak…0 - 8 - (8:59)
CV - Grady Kelly 25 run - PAT-Boston Wood pass from Nekoliczak…0 - 16 - (5:33)
CV- Grady Kelly 68 run - PAT-Taylor Jensen run…0 - 24 - (3:00)
CV - Grady Kelly 7 run - PAT-Wood run…0 - 32 - (1:09)
CV - Zaden Wolf 54 pass from Nekoliczak - PAT-run failed…0 - 38 - (0:15)
CV - Wood 35 pass from Nekoliczak - PAT-Nekoliczak run…0 - 46 - (3:00)
CV - Grady Kelly 15 run - PAT-run failed…0 - 52 - (0:00)
HP- Wyatt Urkoski 5 run - PAT-kick failed…6 - 52 - (7:04)