Pleasant Valley kept it simple Friday and was rewarded with its first victory of the season.
The Spartans rode a simplified defensive approach and collected points following three of four Davenport Central turnovers to earn a 27-7 non-district football victory at Spartan Stadium.
All of the points were scored a first half which saw PV help itself by limiting the Blue Devils to 72 yards and three first downs.
“We did a few different things on defense this week, and it seemed to make a difference,’’ Pleasant Valley coach Rusty Van Wetzinga said.
“We tried to make things simpler and we went back to some things that have been good to us defensively over time. The guys came out and did a good job of executing what we wanted them to do.’’
That positioned the Spartans to earn their first win in four games this season.
“Our defense did a good job getting the ball back in our hands and the offense was able to give us a lead to work with,’’ Van Wetzinga said. “We were able to get off the field on third down and do the types of things that good defenses do. We still have a lot to clean up, but we took a step forward.’’
Turnovers and penalties were plentiful during a first half that saw each team turn the ball over three times and deal with a combined 11 penalties totaling 86 yards.
By the game ended, Central had turned the ball over a fourth time and had been penalized 11 times for 111 yards, while PV finished with eight penalties covering 70 yards of turf.
“Things were a little sloppy at times, but both teams were getting after it pretty hard,’’ Van Wetzinga siad.
Pleasant Valley’s winning margin was created by the points the Spartans collected after each of Central’s three turnovers in the first two quarters.
A fumble by the Blue Devils on the game’s second snap was recovered by PV’s George Venzke and set the tone for a ragged half, leading to a five-play scoring drive that ended on a 1-yard touchdown run by Jake Brandmeyer.
Central (1-3) went three-and-out on the ensuing possession and the Spartans used a methodical 10-play, 58-yard march to open a 13-0 advantage following a 4-yard carry by Max Slavens into the end zone with 4:08 to go in the opening quarter.
Slavens, who led Pleasant Valley with 95 rushing yards on 21 carries, extended the Spartans’ lead to 20-0 when he scored on a 3-yard keeper on an 80-yard drive that began when Drew Guinn intercepted Central quarterback Adin De La Rosa in the end zone.
The Blue Devils capitalized on the a fumbled punt return by Pleasant Valley on the ensuing possession, using a Malakai Shell recovery to set up an extended drive from the Spartans’ 30-yard line.
Central cut into PV’s 20-0 lead on a 1-yard touchdown run by Diontrel Womack with 7:46 to play in the half.
The Blue Devils forced a three-and-out, but momentum quickly swung back in the Spartans’ favor.
De La Rosa threw a pass to Mike Moran that appeared to skip off of the receiver’s chest and hit the turf, but the play was never blown dead.
Brennan Sarver scooped up what was ruled a fumble and returned it 31 yards for a touchdown that provided Pleasant Valley with a 20-point margin which stuck.