HS FOOTBALL: Holt's big plays send Mid Valley over Riverside

Sep. 2—TAYLOR — As the game wore on and the stakes got higher, Victor Holt kept making big plays.

The senior caught a touchdown pass, had two interceptions — returning one for a score — and then tipped away a pass on a two-point conversion attempt late in the fourth quarter to preserve Mid Valley's 14-12 win over No. 5 Riverside on Friday at Veterans Memorial Stadium.

Mid Valley (1-1) drove into Riverside's territory on its first two drives, including a game-opening 12-play drive that chewed up most of the first quarter, but was stopped on fourth down both times. The third time was the charm as Jordan Chmielew-ski hit Holt in stride down the left sideline for a 36-yard touchdown pass to give Mid Valley a 7-0 lead midway through the second quarter.

"We didn't plan on calling that play," Holt said. "It was an audible. The cornerback wasn't guarding me at all so we saw it; we made the quick adjustment and we just made it happen."

Riverside (1-1), which was forced to punt on its first two possessions, reached Mid Valley's 19 with less than a minute remaining in the first half. But on first down, Holt intercepted an overthrown ball at the Spartans' 3-yard-line and raced 97 yards for a touchdown to give Mid Valley a 14-0 lead with 40 seconds remaining in the first half.

"I was just sitting in my zone," Holt said. "I saw the ball, caught it and took it. I just listened to what my coaches said: get to the nearest sideline and get running and your blockers will provide for you."

Riverside's high-powered offense began to get on track in the third quarter. The Vikings picked up three first downs and reached Mid Valley's 15 on their first drive of the second half but were stopped on fourth down. After forcing Mid Valley to punt, quarterback Reese Gaughan had three carries for 29 yards and then hit Brayden Rose for a 23-yard touchdown pass. The extra point missed and Riverside trailed 14-6.

The Vikings converted a fourth down on their next drive but then, on first down, Holt leaped in front of a receiver for an interception at the Spartans' 25. Riverside forced a three-and-out and took over at its 40 with 3:10 remaining in the fourth quarter. Gaughan completed 4 of 5 passes on the drive, including a 42-yard touchdown to Casey O'Brien with 1:40 left. Riverside went for two and Gaughan rolled out to his right and threw back toward the middle of the field but the 6-foot-2 Holt jumped and knocked the pass away in the back of end zone.

"My guy went in motion and that's when I knew it was going to the right side of the field so I just had to get over there," Holt said. "I saw him, I saw where he was looking and I just jumped up and made a play."

Riverside could not corral the onside kick attempt but still forced a punt and the kick pinned the Vikings at their own 3 with 38 seconds left. Riverside reached the 34 with four seconds left on the clock but a desperation play with several laterals ran out of steam near midfield.

"It was just an all around defensive effort," Mid Valley coach Stan Yanoski said. "In the first half, we dominated the line of scrimmage, really held them at bay and went in 14-0. That's a very explosive, experienced team so we knew they were going to make plays because of all the athletes they have. But the D-line played great, the secondary had a couple of picks. Just an overall team effort."