The River Valley football team accomplished a feat Friday night that no other Falcon squad has ever accomplished.
The Falcons won the first game of the season.
River Valley kicked off the 2013 season with a 39-20 victory over West Central in a Lincoln Trail Conference game in Varna.
“It’s one of those things, when you look back at River Valley history, it’s the first time we won the first ballgame of the season,” RV coach Galen Noard said. “It meant something. That was one of our goals. We want to keep doing things that haven’t been done down here before.”
Falcon quarterback Tom Miller tossed three touchdown passes and ran for two scores to lead an RV offense that racked up 433 yards.
Miller ran for 171 yards on 13 carries and threw for 105 yards.
Nathan Helle added 78 yards and a TD on the ground and one catch for 16 yards and a score, while Sam Poignant rushed for 73 yards on 17 attempts.
Matt Lewandowski grabbed four passes for 70 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
“Diversity,” Noard said about the key to the game. “We threw the ball. We ran the ball. Different people were getting it. They keyed on Helle, then Poignant and Tom ran real well. When they started ganging the line of scrimmage, we threw the ball real well.”
The Falcons struck first on a 45-yard touchdown run by Helle with 7:17 left in the first quarter.
West Central tied the game less than three minutes later before River Valley rattled off the next three touchdowns to build a 24-6 advantage.
Miller threw TD passes of 21 and 23 yards to Lewandowski in the first half before scampering for an 83-yard score with 5:46 left in the third.
West Central rallied within four points at 24-20 at the end of the third quarter, but Miller threw a 16-yard touchdown pass for Helle and ran for a 52-yard score to seal the victory for RV.
“We had our ups and downs,” Noard said. “We obviously had good times and had low times. We have to keep improving. The kids know that. That’s the first thing they said after the game was, ‘We can play better.’ We had some letdowns that made the game pretty close there.”
The Falcon defense allowed 327 total yards, including 266 on the ground.
“(Our defense) was OK,” Noard said. “I wouldn’t give it a great rating. We had a couple big stops that helped us. We picked off a couple when they tried to throw late. I’d give us a ‘B.’ I think it’s an area we need to shore up.”
The Falcons (1-0) play host to United (1-0) at 7 p.m. Friday.
Tri-Valley 27, Fieldcrest 12
The Knights and the Vikings, who received votes in the Associated Press Class 2A preseason poll, traded touchdowns into the third quarter before Tri-Valley scored the final 14 points of the night to earn the Heart of Illinois Conference victory in Downs.
After the Vikings went up 7-0 in the first quarter, Drew Barth ran for a 2-yard touchdown in the second quarter to pull the Knights within a point.
Tri-Valley scored in the second quarter before Barth found the end zone again — this time on a 1-yard run — to once again pull Fieldcrest within a point.
However, the Vikings scored once in the third quarter and once in the fourth.
Barth finished with 41 rushing yards. The sophomore also threw for 91 yards.
Grant Jochums led the Knights in rushing with 73 yards.
Fieldcrest (0-1) plays at LeRoy (1-0) at 7 p.m. Friday.
Ottawa graduate and IVCC freshman Baley Lehr fired a 74 on Friday to place second at the Highland College Invitational.
Lehr’s round helped the Eagles place sixth among the 12 teams with 319 strokes — 10 behind team champion Oakton.
Also scoring for IVCC were Tanner Galyen (81), Hunter Schultz (82) and Aaron Jiles (82).
La Salle-Peru 7, Sandwich 0
The Cavaliers scored a big win Friday in the War on 34 Tournament in Earlville.