Varsity Football · No. 4 Valley Upsets Top-Ranked Dowling In Thriller


Valley football player Creighton Mitchell
The Class 4A fourth-ranked Valley High School varsity football team defeated top-ranked Dowling Catholic 29-22 on Friday, Sept. 6, at Valley Stadium.

The Tigers improve to 2-0 on the season, while Dowling drops to 1-1.

PHOTOS: Valley vs. Dowling Catholic football

Valley and Dowling were scoreless after the first quarter, but the Maroons struck first on an 83-yard touchdown pass and a rushing score. Valley retaliated late in the second with a safety, making it 14-2.

Senior quarterback Braeden Katcher hit Jack Johnson for a short snag in the end zone in the final seconds of the first half, making it 14-9 after two quarters.

The Tigers utilized senior placekicker Samuel Ridgway for a field goal in the third quarter, minimizing Dowling’s lead to 14-12.

Then, Valley took its first lead of the game thanks to a 60-yard touchdown run by senior running back Nate Willcockson.

The Valley defense was stellar in the second half, led by Trajen Thornton. He had an interception late in the third, and Ridgway hit his second field goal of the game, increasing the Tigers’ lead to 22-14.

Dowling answered midway through the fourth with a touchdown pass of its own, for 25 yards, tying the game 22-22. But the Valley offense continued to push its way down the field, and Creighton Mitchell found the back of the end zone with a nine-yard run, putting the score 29-22 Valley.

Valley senior defensive back Drew Jirak sealed the victory for the Tigers when he picked off a Dowling pass in the final minute of the game.

Valley will travel to Cedar Rapids Kennedy on Friday, Sept. 13, for its next game. Kickoff is set for 7:15 p.m.

The Tigers will return home on Friday, Sept. 20, when they host Waukee.

REPLAY: No. 1 Dowling Catholic at No. 4 Valley