TREDYFFRIN >> It may be tough to lose the majority of games at the halfway point of the season, but it makes it more exciting to get the first win in the second half.
That was the case on Friday afternoon when the Valley Forge Military Academy Trojans (1-7) survived a thrilling finish against Lower Moreland High School (1-5) to secure a 16-15 Bicentennial Athletic League victory after scoring on a two-point conversion during the last minute of play.
The star of the game was Trojan kicker Anthony Littlewood. He had two field goals, including a 47-yarder in the second quarter.
“I feel like I contributed to my team very well,” said Littlewood. “If I didn’t make those it would’ve been harder on me and the team. They put a lot of pressure on me, but it went through and I felt really good.”
Valley Forge Military Academy head coach Mike Korom was thrilled with the way his kicker performed.
“He’s an NCAA Division I kicker by far,” said Korom. “He’s fantastic and we wouldn’t have won the game without him.”
After Littlewood started the scoring summary with a 25-yard field goal, the defense earned a safety after a penalty on the Lions occurred in the end zone. After being down 8-0 at halftime, Lower Moreland head coach Justin Beck wasn’t pleased with the way his team performed in the first half.
“We feel like we have a good team and in many ways better than our record,” said Beck. “Unfortunately we are still growing up and we have a very inexperienced team.”
The Lions, however, later struck back in the third quarter after quarterback Coleman Peppleman launched a 40-yard pass to Forrest Keys followed by a two-point conversion to tie the game at 8-8 as time ran out in the third quarter.
Later in the fourth, after an 88-yard punt return to the Trojans 7-yard line, Peppleman found Keys again in the end zone to increase the lead to 15-8. The Trojans wouldn’t give up, however, as they drove down the field in their last drive.
With one minute left in the game, Trojan quarterback Naseer Gilbert found Max Kauffman for a 15-yard pass to erase the deficit down to one point. Head coach Korom, however, thought about doing the unthinkable, to go for two points and the win with one minute left.
On the two-point play, Gilbert took it in himself and found the end zone and the thrilling victory.
“It was a fantastic win,” said Korom. “It was good there for a while, but I knew our kids weren’t going to quit. They played hard, didn’t have their heads down and I told them we were going to come back in the end and get the victory.”
Lower Moreland returnS home next Saturday, Oct. 21, to take on New Hope-Solebury. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. Valley Forge Military Academy will hit the road for the last time this season when it travels to Jenkintown next Friday, Oct. 20. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
VFMA 16, Lower Moreland 15
LM 0 0 8 7 -15
VFMA 5 3 0 8 -16
VFMA- Littlewood 25 field goal
VFMA- safety (penalty in end zone)
VFMA- Littlewood 47 field goal
LM- Keys 40 pass from Peppleman (2-point conversion)
LM- Keys 5 pass from Peppleman (Stefurak kick)
VFMA- Kauffman 15 pass from Gould (Gilbert run 2-point conversion)
RUSHING – Lower Moreland: Stefurak 12-25; Peppleman 7-(-9). Valley Forge Military Academy: Price-Butler 3-15; Gould 7-7; Wilson 3-16; Gilbert 22-108; Ramsey 1-21.
PASSING – Lower Moreland: Peppleman 11-20 114 yds 2 TD. Valley Forge Military Academy: Wilson 0-1; Gould 10-18 105 yds 1 TD.
RECEIVING – Keys 7-86 2 TD; Stefurak 4-28. Davila 4-26; Kauffman 4-38 1 TD; Ramsey 1-40; Price-Butler 1-1.