INDIAN TRAIL Sun Valley scored 28 unanswered points in the second half to beat rival Porter Ridge 42-28 at home Friday night.
The teams ended the electric third quarter tied at 28 after touchdown runs by Sun Valley running back Albert Funderburke. The junior scored on consecutive, one-play possessions with runs of 66 and 58 yards.
Funderburke finished with 273 yards and three scores on just 21 carries. He added a 25-yard score to give Sun Valley a 35-28 lead with 9:35 remaining in the fourth.
Corey Pleshers interception in the end zone stymied Porter Ridges attempt to tie. Plesher returned the pick to the Porter Ridge 44 and five plays later P.J. Lotharp ran around the right side for a 22-yard score and the 42-28 final.
With the win, Sun Valley (3-2) avenged two losses to Porter Ridge last season: the first took away an outright conference title from Sun Valley while the second came in the state 4A semifinals. (Realignment has the two teams in different classifications with Porter Ridge a 4A school while Sun Valley is 3A).
Porter Ridge (3-2) slowed Sun Valleys rushing attack in the first half en route to the 28-14 lead.
We have a big offensive line and they get angry, said Sun Valley coach Paul Hall. We know that teams are going to key on Albert, so we are patient and pick away because eventually (Albert) is going to break a few.
Porter Ridge linebacker Nick Vagnone spoiled Sun Valleys possession to open the game. The senior picked off a pass just beyond the line of scrimmage and returned it 32 yards for a score to give Porter Ridge a quick 7-0 lead just one minute, two seconds into the contest.
Porter Ridge looked to take control with a 21-7 lead with two straight scores. A 21-yard run by Grant Vandervort with 4:16 left in the first was followed six minutes later by a 62-yard pass from Isaiah Hicklin to Casey Hardison (four catches, 131 yards).
The Hicklin-to-Hardison score was setup five plays earlier. On 4th-and-2 from its own 14, Porter Ridge faked the punt and grabbed three yards to keep the drive alive.
Quarterback Drew Swoope found Funderburke for a 42-yard touchdown pass. Funderburke ran a wheel route to the sideline, tight-roped the line and ran untouched for the final touchdown of the half.
Porter Ridges Hardison and Sun Valleys Alex Sawyer each had drive-killing interceptions late in the first half to hold the score at 21-14 to Porter Ridges advantage.
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