Sun Valley News

  • NOV

    Spartans advance behind Howell's record breakding night

    The Sun Valley Spartans defeated Cox Mill 30-14 in the first round of the 3AA playoffs in a historic night for Spartans QB Sam Howell, who broke the NCHSAA record for total all-purpose yards in a career. Howell rushed for a touchdown and threw for three more scores, including pass plays of 71 and 39 yards to Isiah Hall and a 60-yard TD pass to Christian McIntosh. Sun Valley, seeded 10th in the West Region, led 24-7 in the fourth quarter when seventh-seeded Cox Mill scored its only offensive touchdown of the night. The Spartans’ defense held Cox Mill to just seven points; the Chargers also scored on a blocked punt. The 14 total points were the lowest total of the season for Cox Mill. They also had a chance to score on the opening possession, but the Spartans defense forced a fumble at the goal line that junior Kolbi Anderson recovered in the end zone for a touchback. Sun Valley has now won five straight games to improve to 10-2. They advance to the second round where will travel to face A.C. Reynolds on Friday in a rematch of last year’s state semifinal game, won by Reynolds 28-25. Cox Mill finished the season with an 8-4 record.

    • NOV

      Spartans hold on to 24-17 win over Mavericks

      The Sun Valley football team escaped hostile territory with a 24-17 road win Thursday night in the final regular season game for both teams. Sun Valley scored on its first possession and eventually took the lead on the quarterback’s 7-yard keeper. Sun Valley got a 28-yard field goal from Nick Bartolomeo on its next possession to take a 10-0 lead. Marvin Ridge answered with sophomore Sully McDermott led Marvin Ridge on a 68-yard scoring drive capped off by a double pass from Sean Brown to McDermott for a 4-yard touchdown with 6:32 left in the second quarter. Marvin Ridge tied the game on a 49-yard fi eld goal by senior Jason Stricker with 11:08 left in the fourth quarter. The Spartans answered immediately, driving 80 yards and scoring on another 7-yard run from Howell to regain the lead. After Marvin Ridge turned the ball over on downs inside Sun Valley’s 15-yard line with 1:58 to go, Spartans quarterback Sam Howell found some room on a designed run and raced 81 yards down to the Mavericks’ 2-yard line. Howell scored on a next play to extend Sun Valley’s lead to 24-10. In Marvin Ridge’s fi rst play of its next possession, sophomore receiver Ian Hutter tipped a jump ball from quarterback Matthew Wunder to himself and raced 67 yards for the touchdown. The Mavericks recovered the ensuing onside kick and made it down to the Sun Valley 29-yard line, but Wunder’s throw to the end zone in the closing moments fell incomplete. The Spartans finish the regular season 9-2 overall and 5-2 in the Southern Carolina Conference. Howell completed 17-of-25 passes for 222 yards and one interception and also carried 15 for 159 yards and three touchdowns, but he was under duress from a relentless Marvin Ridge pass rush for much of the game. Howell was sacked five times on the night, including once on 4th-andgoal at the Mavericks’ 4-yard line. Sun Valley will travel to Cox Mill on Friday Nov. 16th for the 1st RD of the state 3A playoffs.

      • NOV

        Spartans Howell & Blackwell team up in 45-25 win

        Despite getting all they could handle from Piedmont’s rushing attack, the Sun Valley football team rallied behind quarterback Sam Howell and made stops when it needed to en route to a 45-25 road win Friday night. The Spartans’ first play of the game — a smoke screen to Blackwell — went 91 yards for a touchdown. Blackwell finished the game with five catches for 174 yards and three scores. Sun Valley didn’t punt the ball or commit a turnover all night. Leading, 32-25, at the start of the fourth quarter, Howell found Gavin Blackwell for a 43-yard touchdown — the pair’s third scoring connection of the night — to hand the Spartans a 14-point lead with just under 12 minutes remaining. Senior QB Sam Howell accounted for six touchdowns on the night, completing 14-of- 25 passes for 286 yards and four scores and running the ball nine times for 79 yards and two more. Blackwell had 5 catches for 174 yards and 3 TDs. The Spartans (8-2, 4-2 SCC) have now won three games in a row since falling to Charlotte Catholic back on Oct. 5. The Spartans will travel to Marvin Ridge Friday Oct. 26th.

        • OCT

          Spartans no match for Cavs

          Sun Valley scored 40 points in the first half of a 55-28 home win over Cuthbertson on Friday. Sun Valley's senior QB Sam Howell was business as usual with three touchdown passes on just four pass attempts in the first half and added two rushing scores. Spartans senior Isiah Hall made it 20-8 with a 70-yard punt return for a score. Sophomore Gavin Blackwell added two TD receptions from Howell late in the first half for a commanding 40-16 advantage. Senior receiver Terry Thomas had three catches for 106 yards for Sun Valley, including an 80-yard touchdown catch early in the second. The Spar tans finished with 203 rushing yards on 25 attempts. Sophomore Deuce Wilson led the way with nine carries for 122 yards and two touchdowns. The Spartans will travel to Marvin Ridge Friday Oct. 26th.

          • OCT

            Spartans pull out 25-20 win

            The Sun Valley Spartans pullled out the a 25-20 win over Monroe and the rally was led by four combined touchdowns from senior quarterback Sam Howell. Trailing, 20-19, with less than three minutes to go, Howell found fellow senior Isiah Hall in the back of the end zone for the 12-yard go-ahead touchdown. Sun Valley junior cornerback Christian McIntosh intercepted a pass on the Redhawks’ next possession, effectively ending the game. Howell’s pass to Hall was their second scoring play of the night, and Hall now has nine TD catches in eight games. Howell connected with Hall six times for 162 yards. The pair’s first score came on a 90-yard catch and run than gave Sun Valley a 19-13 lead with 8:47 left in the fourth quarter. In addition to the touchdowns to Hall, Howell tossed a 14-yard score to sophomore Gavin Blackwell to open the scoring and later reached the end zone on a 19-yard touchdown run. Sun Valley moves to 6-2 overall and 2-2 in the Southern Carolina Conference. The Spartans will host Cuthbertson Friday Oct. 19th.

            • OCT

              Spartans fall to Cougars 28-7

              Sun Valley (5-2, 1-2 SCC) began the game in a nice rhythm offensively, but it couldn’t overcome some costly mistakes. On the Spartans’ fi rst drive of the game, senior quarterback Sam Howell found McIntosh over the middle in Cougar territory, but a Catholic defender ripped the ball out and another caught it in mid-air to force the turnover. The Spartans took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter on a 25-yard touchdown pass from Howell to senior Isiah Hall, but they wouldn’t sniff the end zone the rest of the night. Howell finished the night 9-of-20 for 77 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Defensively, Sun Valley once again struggled stopping the run and committing costly penalties. Charlotte Catholic junior Lamagea McDowell paced all players with 143 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 25 carries. The Spartans will host Monroe Friday Oct. 12th.

              • SEP

                Spartans score 53 on Rebels

                Sun Valley scored 53 unanswered points as they cruised to a 53-7 win over Parkwood on Friday night. The Rebels scored first to take a 7-0 lead before the Spartans got rolling. Sun Valley would lead 20-7 at the half behind senior standout Sam Howell. Howell would find sophomore Gavin Blackwell from 37 yards out for a touchdown, but the extra point was no good and the Rebels would still lead 7-6. Howell and Blackwell would hook up again to give their team a 13-7 lead before Howell scored on a run to put his team up 20-7. Howell threw for three more touchdowns in the second half to help the Spartans pull away from the Rebels. Parkwood falls to 1-5 overall and 0-2 in the conference. The Rebels will be on the road at Marvin Ridge Friday. Sun Valley is 1-1 in the conference and 5-1 overall. The Spartans will travel to Charlotte Catholic Oct. 5th Friday.

                • SEP

                  Spartans fall to Warriors 31-21

                  Sun Valley lost to rival Weddinton 31-21 in a battle for 1st place inteh SCC. Sun Valley QB Sam Howell was sacked 5 times despite throwing for 244 yards and 2 TDs. Howell Ran fro 116 yards and a score as well. Howell hooked up with Isiah Hall on both scores. hall would finish with 3 cathces fro 75 yards and 2 TDs. The Spartans also scored on a safety when a ball was snapped out of the end zone. The Spartans were held scoreless in the 2nd half. Sun Valley will host Parkwood Friday Sept. 28th.

                  • SEP

                    Spartans improve to 4-0 in 2018 season

                    After falling behind late in the first quarter, Sun Valley High responded with 40 unanswered points in a 40-6 road win over Olympic on Wednesday. Four-star quarterback Sam Howell threw three touchdown passes and rushed for two scores, helping the Spartans improve to 4-0. Howell threw an 80-yard touchdown pass to sophomore sensation Gavin Blackwell for Sun Valley’s first score and connected with senior Isiah Hall for a 40-yard score late in the second quarter. Spartans senior lineman Michael Larbie blocked a punt with 1:21 left in the second quarter in Olympic territory, leading to a 4-yard TD run by Howell that gave SV a 21-6 halftime lead. Howell added a 27-yard TD run in the second half and threw to sophomore Jacob Bowman for a 10-yard score for the final score. Bowman is the backup QB and also plays receiver, punts, handle kickoffs and shares the kick-scoring duties with Nick Bartolomeo, who made a field goal against Olympic. The Spartans also scored on a safety when a ball was snapped out of the end zone. Sun Valley begins SCC play next week with a home game against rival Weddington; both teams are 4-0.

                    • AUG

                      Spartans improve to 3-0 in 2018 season

                      The combination of QB Sam Howell and WR Gavin Blackwell was to much for Porter Ridge with the Spartans winning 38-21. Howell stood out against the Pirates once again Friday night, racking up nearly 500 yards of total offense and accounting for four touchdowns. Sun Valley was held scoreless in the first quarter of either of its first two games of the season, Sun Valley took the opening drive of the game deep into Porter Ridge territory, ultimately settling for a field goal, their first of the season. On their next drive, the Spartans took a 10-0 lead as Howell fired a quick slant to Gavin Blackwell, who outran three or four defenders on his way to a 90-yard touchdown. Howell and Blackwell connected four times for 188 yards and three touchdowns Friday night. The senior quarterback finished the night 12-for-23 for 373 yards, three touchdowns and one interception, adding another 99 yards and a touchdown on the ground. With Sun Valley leading 24-6 at the start of the fourth quarter, Howell capped off a seven-play drive with a 40-yard strike to Blackwell for their third touchdown of the game. After Porter Ridge answered with a 34-yard touchdown run by Malcolm Hines, Howell marched the Spartans right back down the field, ultimately reaching the end zone on a 24-yard touchdown run. The Spartans travel to Olympic Friday Sept. 14th.

                      • AUG

                        Spartans improve to 2-0 in 2018 season

                        The score was tied at 14 during halftime, the Sun Valley defense held Anson Co. to a three-and-out which was followed by a shanked punt, giving the Spartans possession at the Anson 25. Sun Valley QB Sam Howell threw to sophomore Gavin Blackwell for a 25-yard touchdown, giving the Spartans the lead for good at 21-14 with 8:54 left in the third quarter. The Bearcats had four possessions in the third quarter and failed to gain a first down. On a fourth down Sun Valley safety Cam Maddox beat the punter to the ball, falling on it in the end zone for a special teams touchdown. The Spartans scored their third touchdown of the third quarter shortly after when senior linebacker Jack Wilton intercepted a pass and ran it back 20 yards for a touchdown. Sun Valley outscored Anson 35-0 after halftime. Howell, a four-year starter who has committed to Florida State, completed 13-of-21 passes for 228 yards and 4 TDs. Howell rushed 12 times for 147 yards and 1 TD. Howell has now thrown for at least 200 yards 30 times in his career and has 12 100- yard rushing games. His top target is Blackwell, a sophomore who caught three TD passes. Blackwell finished with five catches for 92 yards. Howell also had a 46-yard completion to senior Terry Thomas, a 36-yarder to junior Christian McIntosh and a 35-yard pass to senior co-captain Isiah Hall. Two games into the season, Blackwell already has five TD catches and Hall has two. The Spartans have a bye week and will be at Porter Ridge Sept. 1st

                        • AUG

                          Spartans win 35-13 to open 2018 season

                          Sun Valley opened the 2018 with a 35-13 road win over Forest Hills. Offensively, the Spartans saw their first two drives stall in Yellow Jacket applied by their front four on Sun Valley QB Sam Howell. Forest Hills carried the momentum over to the offensive side, marching down the field for a 79-yard scoring drive capped off by a 10-yard touchdown pass from senior Jai Rorie to sophomore Romel Wright to take a 7-0 lead. Sun Valley answered back with a touchdown drive of their own, with Jacob Bowman filling in for Howell, who was bleeding from his hand and had to come off the field. Bowman tossed a 17-yard touchdown to receiver Terry Thomas to get Sun Valley on the board. Never facing a deficit again the rest of the night, Sun Valley went on to score four more touchdowns — three on Howell touchdown passes to sophomore Gavin Blackwell (two) and Isaiah Hall, and another on a Howell keeper from one yard out. The Spartans will host Anson Co. Friday Aug 24th.

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