Vallery delivers in clutch

Football returned to Madison-Plains High School Friday, Aug. 25, as the Golden Eagles played host to neighboring Westfall in front of a standing-room-only crowd.

Despite the size of the crowd, Golden Eagles sophomore quarterback Jarrett Vallery didn’t seemed phased, he didn’t make any glaring mistakes and came up with the biggest play of the game as the home team walked away with a 30-25 season-opening victory.

The play turned occurred late in the fourth quarter with the Eagles nursing a slim 24-19 lead. The Eagles were at the Mustang’s 44-yard line and facing a 4th-and-8 with 6:24 to go. The sophomore took the snap, faked a handoff and rolled to his left. It was a pass-read option, he may have made the crucial first down by running the ball, but instead he read it correctly as senior wideout Michael George was running free in the secondary.

He hit George in stride and the senior waltzed into the end zone for what proved to be the winning score.

“I think we have a pretty good football team,” Madison-Plains High School coach Jason Hunt said. “He’s a sophomore quarterback, but he made the play of the game. We work on that play every day and he made the right read and didn’t overthrow it. He had a guy wide open and sometimes that’s the hardest throw to make.”

A big reason for the first-time starting QB’s success was that he was able to rely on a strong offensive line and veteran running backs Ryan Bevington and Chris Coil.

The offensive playbook was scaled back a bit, as the Eagles relied more on run plays and a lot less on the pass-happy offenses coach Hunt has enjoyed running in the past.

Bevington was the feature runner on the MPHS’ first drive of the game, as the squad moved its way down the field and scored on a Bevington 2-yard run. He also plowed in for the 2-point conversion and a 8-0 Eagles lead with 5:17 to play in the first quarter.

Westfall, which was playing Madison-Plains for the first time since 1990, answered back with a 17-yard pass play early in the second quarter to make it 8-7. The scoring play was a perfectly executed pass play down the middle of the field.

Plains took the ensuing possession and methodically marched down the field 67 yards. It was Vallery who finished off the drive with an 8-yard scoring run. Another 2-point conversion run by Bevington made it 16-7. The scored stayed that way as the teams went to the half.

Bevington rushed in from 14-yards away early in the third quarter and added on another 2-point try.

In addition to the big fourth quarter throw. It was Vallery’s legs that were at work earlier in that game-winning drive. On 4th-and-4 at their own 39 yard line the Eagles rolled the dice and went for it. Vallery tucked the ball under his right arm and picked up five yards keeping the drive alive.

“I think we’re a pretty good team,” Hunt said. “We won this game with a sophomore quarterback making his first start. He’s going to continue to grow. The guy you see in week five won’t be the same guy you saw tonight.”

.neFileBlock {
margin-bottom: 20px;
.neFileBlock p {
margin: 0px 0px 0px 0px;
.neFileBlock .neFile {
border-bottom: 1px dotted #aaa;
padding-bottom: 5px;
padding-top: 10px;
.neFileBlock .neCaption {
font-size: 85%;

Madison-Plains running back Ryan Bevington (18) breaks a tackle during the first quarter of the Golden Eagles’ season-opening game with visiting Westfall Friday. running back Ryan Bevington (18) breaks a tackle during the first quarter of the Golden Eagles’ season-opening game with visiting Westfall Friday. Chris Miles | The Madison Press
Sophomore QB leads MPHS to win

By Chris Miles

Reach Chris Miles at 740-852-1616, ext. 1618 or via Twitter @MadPressSports.