Ian Wilson steps up and leads Valpo to decisive win over Michigan City | NWI Preps Football
MICHIGAN CITY — Ian Wilson and Justin Clark have parted ways at quarterback. The margin between them is so thin that they are essentially interchangeable. Valparaiso coach Bill Marshall trusts them both.
Clark, a junior, took over the starting gig last week and was the more productive of the two arms in the first month of the season, but in a tie midway through the third quarter he suffered the injury. Wilson, a senior, ran onto the field in relief and led the Vikings to a 35-14 Duneland Athletic Conference victory.
“That’s what we do in practice randomly,” Wilson said. “You have to be ready at all times. Football is a next man game. Whoever falls, you must have someone to fill that place. We will continue to play no matter what. It was either I let myself in my head and took it personally or I did it for the team.
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Wilson opted for the latter. He backtracked with his first snap and threw a 32-yard completion to senior receiver Rocco Micciche. Junior running back Travis Davis forced his way in for a four-yard touchdown three plays later.
That score on Wilson’s first drive proved to be the game-winning touchdown after trailing 14-0 early on, giving the Vikings a lead they would never relinquish.
“I can’t say enough about the work that (Wilson) has done, but even with (Clark) fighting us to get to a point where we could be back even where we could be back even and be 0 -0,” Marshall said. “That’s why we compete in practice. That’s why we had two guys going into it. The margin of difference between them each week is so tiny that I think it helps them because it allows them to move forward and thrive when competing with each other.
Marshall’s choice of words is important. Clark and Wilson do not consider themselves in quarterback competition against each other, but rather with each other. Clark is the better runner of the two having made 20 runs for 170 yards before leaving the game, but Wilson has a more reliable throwing arm, as evidenced by completing two out of three pass tries from 66 yards against Wolves, including understood that first ball to swing. momentum in the middle of a 35-0 run.
“Damn, drop 14 points, like I told them, not many teams in the state can go ahead and do that and fight to have a five-point swing at the end of the night,” he said. said Marshall. “I couldn’t be more proud of their resilience.”
Michigan City’s offense took the field for the first time with 4:15 left in the first quarter and a 14-7 lead already in tow. Junior Cameron Bell returned the opening kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown, then sophomore defensive back Marquez Dabney ended Valparaiso’s first offensive possession with a 55-yard pick from Clark.
Clark would bounce back. He took his first touch in response 28 yards to enter Michigan City territory. Davis would later finish that drive with a two-yard dive into the end zone. Clark would take off for a 55-yard rushing touchdown on his next offensive possession as time expired in the first quarter.
That lead lasted until midway through the third quarter when Clark was injured trying to complete a pitch and Wilson entered the game to lead the touchdown.
Davis, who continues to prove himself as a workhorse in the backfield, had 24 carries for 125 yards and four touchdowns. Meanwhile, the Valparaiso (3-1, 2-0 DAC) defense failed to allow a run while keeping the Wolves (1-3, 1-1 DAC) two-headed combination of junior quarterback Tyler Bush and junior running back Jaden Hart. just 130 yards of total attack between their respective passes and ground attacks.
“That City game, it was a decisive game for us,” Wilson said. “It was up to us to let the Region know that Valpo was ready. We have done our job. We are ready for next week.
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