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HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Purvis carries load


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Tired as he was, Von Purvis knew what he had to do.

Mountain View had climbed back into a game North Stafford had dominated, capitalizing on two rare fourth-quarter fumbles by Purvis. More than nine minutes remained, and the Wolverines’ lead had been pared to 14–13.

Coach Joe Mangano didn’t hesitate to trust his workhorse, and Purvis carried eight times on a time-consuming drive. He punctuated the march with his third touchdown of the night, and North Stafford held on for a 21–13 win.

“It was a close game, and I knew my team was depending on me,” Purvis said. “I did what I had to do. I was pretty disappointed [with the fumbles], but I was ready to put the team on my back.”

A week after gaining 240 yards on 40 carries in a streak-stopping victory at Briar Woods, Purvis did even more Friday night. He carried 41 times for 291 yards, scoring from 19 and 67 yards out in the first half.

“He is literally the toughest kid I’ve ever coached,” Mangano said. “He had a little turf toe, but he kept finding a way to do it.”

Even after Purvis’ third touchdown, the Wolverines (5–0) still had to hold on.

Quarterback Elijah Burress, who had thrown two first-half interceptions, drove the Wildcats (3–2) into North Stafford territory, seeking a tying touchdown.

Burress hit Quinton Gray (nine catches, 108 yards) for a 38-yard gain, then scrambled for a first down on fourth-and-2 from the 22 with 1:29 to play.

But Gordon Collins couldn’t hang on to his fourth-down screen pass with 1:14 left, and the Wolverines survived.

“It was a challenge. They’re a great team,” said North Stafford senior defensive back Anthony Hamilton, who intercepted one pass and deflected another that teammate Tyler Bailey picked off. “This was a test, and we did what we usually do: we passed it.”

The Wolverines appeared to be set to ace it when they took a 14–0 lead into halftime. But the Wildcats responded.

Burress’ 44-yard completion to Tyler Roehl set up Kirron Sleydin’s 2-yard third-quarter touchdown run. And Jalen Hill pounced on the first of Purvis’ fumbles and returned it 55 yards for a score with 9:18 remaining. North Stafford’s Joey Slye blocked the conversion kick to preserve the Wolverines’ lead.

“I liked the way our kids played inspired ball in the second half,” Mountain View coach Lou Sorrentino said. “That’s a good football team, and you have to play a relatively clean game to have a chance. The good thing is, the errors are correctable.”

North Stafford visits Stafford next Friday. Mountain View is off until Oct. 11, when it hosts Massaponax.