Valley rallies to beat Oakley in a memorable state championship

POCATELLO, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) Valley head coach Ryon Jarvis felt confident this season that the Vikings would win the state championship.

Although those feelings disapated during the game, as Valley had to come from behind to beat Oakley.

The Hornets showed they're mentally tough, despite their bodies feeling differently.

The regular season game between Oakley and Valley did not mirror anything we saw Friday night in the state championship.

The game in Hazelton featured an inexperienced squad because of numerous injuries to the varsity team.

Someone who's no stranger to this, Hornet quarterback Tate Cranney, he tore his ACL earlier in the season.

Cranney explained, "I came back four weeks before the season was over and then I re-tore my MCL, my meniscus, a few other things. I decided to come back in the state game, I got released to play if I could stand it. There was no chance I wasn't going to play."

Cranney gave it everything he had.

"It was very difficult at first, but once we starting hitting, we started hitting on all cylinders."

But so did Jason Hardy and the Valley Vikings.

This quarterback keeper gave the Vikings a 20-16 lead in the third quarter after being down two at halftime.

"It was designed QB run, I was able to lower my shoulders and just the state championship, you have to fight for every inch and I was able to get into the end zone with great blocking," added Hardy.

Jarvis complimented Hardy on his performance, "he's fast, everyone is worried about him, he's not very big, but he's tougher than nails."

Hardy was far from perfect, the Hornets picked him off on three occasions.

But he also had four touchdowns, to go along with 275 yards, including this beautiful 19 yard touchdown pass to Zane Mussman, putting the Vikings up for good, 42-40 with less than two minutes left in the game.

Hardy also ran for 101 yards and had a rushing touchdown as well.

Hardy on Oakley, "they're great competitors, great guys, I wouldn't want to play anyone else, beat anyone else in the state championship because they test you, they push you, congratulations to them for sure."

The only time Jarvis could breathe a sigh of relief?

"When the clock hit zero, we felt it was pretty well taken care of."

The 2018 1A D-I championship, one for the ages.

Side Note: Cranney is having surgery on Tuesday and hopes to be ready to go for rodeo season in the spring.

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