By STEPHEN MONAHAN
VALLEY VIEW — The 2009 season did not get started off on the right foot for the Valley View Eagles.
Facing Nocona at John Kassen Field, the Eagles, up 13-12 late in the fourth quarter, allowed the Indians to score the go-ahead touchdown with just over two minutes left in the game, falling 20-13.
Nocona senior running back Phillip Lott score the game-deciding touchdown with an 11-yard run. Lott then converted the 2-point conversion to give Nocona a 7-point lead.
Valley View’s offense which three-and-out twice in the fourth quarter, gave the Eagles a chance to win the ball game, converting a fourth and 14 on their final drive.
The Eagles got all the way to the Nocona 17-yard line with 30 seconds remaining, but an errant pass by quarterback Scott Willis went right into the arms of Nocona’s Luke West to put the game out of reach.
Both teams were sloppy on offense to start the game, turning over the ball on each of their opening possessions.
Nocona scored first in the second quarter. Quarterback Trevor Fenoglio hit Lott on a screen pass for a 14-yard score. A failed extra point gave Nocona a 6-0 lead.
The Eagles finally got the offense going on the following possession. Willis was on target most of the night, and hit key passes of 22 yards and 16 yards on the drive following Nocona’s score. Willis capped off the 7-play, 67-yard drive with a 4-yard scamper, but missed extra point kept the game tied at 6-6.
The Indians took a 12-6 halftime lead thanks to a 7-play, 73-yard drive. Fenoglio hooked up with Chris Howard for a 26-yard touchdown pass for the lead.
But the second half belonged mostly to Valley View, minus the final scoring drive for Nocona.
The Eagles scored in the third quarter, chewing up the clock with a 9-play, 55-yard scoring drive. The drive started with a 34-yard pass from Willis to A.J. Kassen.
With fourth and goal ahead of them and six yards to go, the Eagles opted to go for the touchdown and succeeded when Willis hit Kassen again on a jailbreak screen for the score, taking the lead after the extra point.
Willis finished 18 for 28 with 227 yards passing and 54 yards rushing. Kassen finished with 7 catches for 84 yards.
By STEPHEN MONAHAN