BERWICK — Behind a multi-talented quarterback named Janaasah Boone, the Valley View Cougars kept finding different ways to get into the end zone.
Berwick kept finding ways to keep itself out.
As a result, the balance of power in District 2 Class 4A high school football shifted squarely onto the shoulders of Valley View, and its quarterback who wears No. 2.
Boone threw for one touchdown Friday, ran for another and even added a trick-play touchdown catch as the Cougars clubbed Berwick 35-7 in a key Class 4A game between two 5-0 teams at Crispin Field.
“I like all of them, I’m not going to lie,” Boone said of his ability to produce touchdowns in different ways. “Great game.”
At least for Valley View.
Not so great for the Bulldogs, who fell to 5-1 and behind Valley View in the District 2 seedings in large part because Berwick was called for 13 penalties totaling 164 yards — and that doesn’t include some costly big plays they took away, starting with Owen Shoemaker’s run for over 40 yards.
“I think a lot of stuff was self-inflicted,” Berwick coach Frank Sheptock said. “We’d get some momentum and then, unfortunately, we’d make some mistakes. That’s a very good team. You continue to give them more chances and more chances, they’re going to take advantage of it.”
The Cougars did.
Running back Mason Kordish ran for scores of 1 and 11 yards. The first one opened the scoring in the first quarter and the second pretty much closed Berwick’s faint comeback hopes while giving Valley View, which defeated Berwick in double overtime last season for the Class 4A district title, a 28-7 lead on the first play of the fourth quarter.
Both touchdowns were set up by short fields after key offensive penalties pushed Berwick back. Of the 13 infractions, nine were 15-yard calls and another pushed the Bulldogs back 12 yards.
“We’d get behind the sticks a little bit,” Sheptock said. “That’s not the kind of football team we are. We’re not built for coming back from third-and-27 or third-and-26. I’m taking responsibility for that. We’ve got to coach more disciplined.”
Yet, it was some razzle-dazzle that set up Valley View for victory.
Boone’s 34-yard pass to Marc Kudrich off a flea flicker set up Kordish’s first touchdown, and Boone opened up again later in the first quarter with a 28-yard touchdown throw to Dylan Howanitz.
Boone also closed the scoring with a 1-yard touchdown sneak that iced the game with 7:06 to play, but it was his touchdown catch off a play similar to the one used by the Philadelphia Eagles to help win last year’s Super Bowl that turned heads at Crispin Field.
The Philly Special?
Try Valley View’s special version of a quarterback catching a scoring strike.
It came with 25 seconds to play in the first half, as Boone pitched the ball to receiver Kudrich motioning to the right, then ran a pass pattern. Kudrich found his quarterback all alone for a 12-yard scoring strike that gave the Cougars a 21-0 lead to take into halftime.
“The Philly play, we love it,” Boone said. “Love the Eagles, give a lot of credit to them. I knew it was going to work. We had our wide receiver across the field, we had that in the corner.”
Yet, Berwick didn’t really feel cornered by the score.
The Bulldogs opened the second half with a 55-yard touchdown drive, closing within 21-7 when running back Shoemaker ran a toss play 7 yards into the end zone. From there, Berwick forced a three-and-out, regained possession and was driving near midfield when two strokes of bad luck stopped the Bulldogs’ excitement.
An errant pitch play lost 2 yards, and it also included a 15-yard penalty.
So much for a comeback bid.
“When we got it to 21-7 and got the ball back and ended up behind the sticks again, I thought that was a key part in the second half,” Sheptock said. “I think we ran the ball with some toughness. We still have a lot of room for correction.”
Reach Paul Sokoloski at 570-991-6392 or on Twitter @TLPaulSokoloski