Hahira — On a Thursday night in Titletown the Valwood Valiant’s had a lot of football to play with three different teams seeing the field.
The Valiants 5th/6th grade fell to the Tiftarea Panthers on Thursday at Goddard Field, 8-6.
Valwood and Tiftarea were locked in a defensive battle throughout the game, going scoreless through the first quarter.
The Panthers got on the board first as they scored their lone touchdown of the evening on a Logan Crosson run from 3 yards out.
Tiftarea converted the two-point conversion to make the score 8-0.
The Valiants would respond quickly and spectacularly.
James Gatlin had an 83-yard touchdown run on a broken play to bring Valwood back within two.
Gatlin picked up a bad snap, eluded several defenders in the backfield, and outran everyone to the end zone for the score.
Unfortunately the Valiants could not pick up the two-point conversion which proved to be the difference in the game.
The Valiants fell to 0-2 with the loss while Tiftarea improves to 1-1-1 this season.
Sam Martin scored three touchdowns and recovered a fumble and Terry Belcher added a score of his own as the Valwood junior varsity team shutout Tiftarea’s JV, 26-0 Thursday night at Goddard Field.
Martin, who had 121 yards rushing, got the scoring started early as he took his first touchdown in from three yards out in the first quarter.
Martin’s next touchdown came in a more dramatic fashion as he sliced through the Panther defense for an 89-yard score in the second quarter.
On Valwood's next possession, Martin took it in from 30 yards out to put the Valiants up 20-0.
Belcher had a long run of his own in the third quarter.
The eighth grader took a pitch 47 yards to pay dirt and giving Valwood the 26-0 final score.
Belcher added an interception, as did Dane Fafard.
Martin’s fumble recovery came with 48 seconds remaining to allow Valwood's stifling defense to preserve the shutout.