WILLIAMSBURG — Twin Valley South had its way from start to finish in the opening round of the Division VI, Region 24 football playoffs.
As a result, the No. 12 seed Panthers won their first playoff game since 1999 with a convincing 70-38 win at No. 5 seed Williamsburg on Friday, Oct. 28.
South, winners of five straight, was just one of two No. 12 seeds to win state-wide in the first round.
The Panthers (7-4) racked up over 500 yards rushing on the night as three running backs had over 100 yards each.
The team was led by Cais Kingsley, who rushed for 254 yards on 19 carries and scored four touchdowns.
Brayden Koeller had 136 yards on nine carries and scored twice, while Cole Bishop rushed for 108 yards on 10 carries and a touchdown.
“The game went better than planned,” South coach Chris Fogle said. “I thought going in we could run against (them) but not 500-plus yards worth.”
South took a 22-7 lead after the first quarter on three Kingsley touchdowns.
The Panthers extended their lead to 43-14 at halftime.
South held a 49-28 lead after three quarters, but iced the game with two interception returns for touchdowns in the fourth quarter.
“We were worried about their passing. Their quarterback had 1,700-plus yards coming in with 27 TDs and at times we struggled with the pass defensively this year. But our kids came out just on fire with confidence,”
Fogle said his team is playing with a lot of confidence right now even facing a team that was 8-2 coming in.
“Confidence is a new thing with South football, but we finally believe we can win against anyone,” he said. “I was nervous. Williamsburg was 8-2, a team doesn’t have that record without talent and a 90-minute bus ride I just wasn’t sure how we would respond. But our kids didn’t care about all that. They were determined to put on a show. I can’t single out anyone for the win. It was a total team win for Twin Valley South”
Fogle said it’s a win the program has been waiting more than two decades for.
“It’s a playoff win we have been waiting 23 years for,” he said. “Our offensive line was just dominating the line of scrimmage and our running backs ran with a purpose. Defensively we held up to the pass well and was able to get pressure on their QB when we needed to.”
South faces another tall task in the regional quarterfinals this Friday, Nov. 4.
The Panthers will travel to No. 4 seed Versailles to battle the Tigers.
Versailles handled No. 13 seed National Trail, 47-0, in the first round.
“Any time you play a defending state champion team you worry, but I believe our players will rise to the challenge,” Fogle said. “All these kids remember going to Marion Local last year and just playing their hearts out. We were just happy to be in the playoffs last year. This year is different. I know (we) will give the Tigers a fight to the end.”
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4061 and follow on Twitter @emowenjr.