Story was first posted on tnonline.com and appeared in print in the Sept. 6, 2016 edition of the Times News.
ALLENTOWN — First impressions are hard to forget.
Central Catholic left one on Pleasant Valley that the Bears will remember for quite some time.
In the first-ever meeting between the two schools, Central Catholic earned a come-from-behind 38-27 victory against Pleasant Valley in an Eastern Pennsylvania Conference North division shootout on Andre Reed Field at J. Birney Crum Stadium on Saturday night.
“I thought we were going to win,” PV senior running back Michael Mitchell said heading to the locker room.
Early on it seemed as though that was the case as Pleasant Valley (1-1 overall, 0-1 EPC North) scored on its opening drive of the game, going 64 yards on eight plays, which was capped off by a four-yard run by the aforementioned Mitchell.
Mitchell continued his dominance for the rest of the night as he amassed 130 rushing yards and made two trips to the end zone.
“I followed the offensive line, listened to the play calling and tried to do my thing to keep the run game solid,” Mitchell said.
His performance may have been enough on any other night of the season, however, he was outdone by Central Catholic’s senior running back, Darnell Ferrell. The elder Viking responded to Mitchell’s touchdown with one of his own on ACC’s ensuing drive to tie the game midway through the first quarter.
Ferrell finished the evening with 191 yards on 30 carries and five total touchdowns, including a 78-yard kickoff return in the third quarter.
That kickoff return came after PV extended its lead to 27-17 with 10 minutes remaining in the third frame, and kick-started 21 unanswered points by the Vikings, which allowed them to recapture the lead, for good, and earn their first victory of the 2016 season.
Pleasant Valley head coach Mark Versuk struggled to find words after the game, but did compliment the effort his team gave on Saturday night.
“Our kids gave 110 percent,” he said. “If we do that [every game] we will have a great season.”
The Bears return home to try and duplicate that high percentage of effort on Friday night as they host the Konkrete Kids of Northampton, who are still searching for their first win. That game is slated for a 7 p.m. kickoff.
Despite suffering its first loss, Mitchell kept an optimistic outlook when looking forward to the rest of the season.
“I don’t think we are going to feel this the rest of the season,” Mitchell said. “We want to finish 9-1, get the top seed in districts, and go from there.”
FAST FERRELL … Central Catholic’s Darnell Ferrell accounted for 247 of the Vikings’ 397 yards of total offense and scored 30 of the team’s 38 points on Saturday night.
MACHO MITCHELL … Much like his counterpart Ferrell, Pleasant Valley’s Michael Mitchell accounted for 196 of his team’s 359 total yards and scored 12 of the Bears’ 27 points.
DIVISIONAL RIVALS … With Central Catholic moving to the north division of the EPC, this was ACC’s first north division match-up ever. It was also the first battle against Pleasant Valley in school history.