VAN — Tug Valley’s football squad took advantage of eight Van turnovers and erupted with 32 points in the second half to rout the Bulldogs at Hershel Jarrell Stadium on Friday night, 46-6.

Tug Valley (3-1) jumped out to a 7-0 advantage with 7:59 to go in the opening frame thanks to a 5-yard dive from Tanner Kirk, which capped off a 45-yard drive.

Van (1-3) had trouble holding onto the ball on this night and saw the trend kill their second drive past midfield, and the opportunistic Panthers took advantage. Ethan Varney made the Bulldogs pay when he capped off another short drive with a tough 8-yard touchdown drive to put the Panthers up 14-0, a score that would stand at intermission.

“I wasn’t real happy with the way we played in the first half,” said first-year Tug Valley head coach Hady Ford. “We have to put a complete ballgame together to be successful in the long-term. We’ll continue pushing toward that.”

Tug Valley came out in the third quarter and established control of the contest as Van continued to put the ball on the ground, while moving the football thanks to large gains from All-Boone County back David Stewart.

After another Van turnover, Ethan Davis caught a pass in stride from Varney and raced to the end zone on a 51-yard scamper that put the Panthers up 21-0 with 10:15 to go in the quarter. While Van recovered three of their five fumbles in the game, three interceptions, including one in the end zone, proved costly for the Bulldogs.

Tug Valley pushed two more scores on the board in the third when Zack Savage scored from the seven on a counter play and then, the three minutes later when Varney hit Caleb May for a 43-yard strike, good for a score. The Panthers were in control at 33-0.

“In most of our games this season we’ve struggled in the first half,” added Ford. “We came out in the second half and put up 30 points tonight. Putting four quarters together is the difference between a good team and a really good team right now.”

Van hit pay dirt in the fourth, when Stewart found the end zone on a 21-yard run to the weak side, avoiding two tacklers on the way to the score.

Varney hit Colegrove for a 29-yard scoring strike in the fourth and then again found Kirk for a 6-yard strike to round out the scoring.

Varney had a tremendous game for Tug Valley, completing 16-of-23 for 372 yards with 5 touchdowns and no interceptions for a very efficient performance.

“Our timing was good and we controlled the line of scrimmage,” said Ford. “We try to capitalize on turnovers and turn them into scores. If we can be more consistent, our team can do special things and we have to improve every single week.”

Ford said keeping his team focused after a lopsided win will be the goal this week.

“I tell our guys that we don’t have to do great things, but we have to do the little things great,” he said. “Moving forward, watching film and identifying those things and remaining humble and hungry are our goals.”

Tug Valley will travel to Tolsia on Sept. 27 and Van will be idle.

Tug: 7 7 19 13 — 46

Van: 0 0 0 6 — 6

Tug Valley passing

Ethan Varney — 16-of-23 for 372 yards 5 TDs

Tug Valley rushing

Ethan Varney — 60 yards on 14 attempts, TD

Zack Savage — 57 yards on 9 attempts, TD

Tanner Kirk — 1 run for 27 yards

Destin Evans — 1 run for 13 yards

Caleb Nay — 1 run for 3 yards

Tug Valley receiving

Ethan Colegrove — 3 for 104 yards, TD

Tanner Kirk — 6 for 92 yards, 2 TDs

Caleb May — 5 for 85 yards, TD

Easton Davis, 1 for 51, TD

Ethan Varney — 1 for 40 yards

Van passing

Kalen Booth — 5-of-11 for 58 yards 3 INT

David Stewart — 0-for-1

Hunter McMicken — 0-for-1

Van rushing

David Stewart — 94 yards on 18 attempts, TD

Van receiving

David Stewart — 2 for 7 yards

Ethan Coleman — 1 for 11 yards

Jacob Jarrell — 1 for 35 yards

Joseph Stewart — 1 for 5 yards

Reporter Phil Perry can be reached at pperry@hdmediallc.com or 304-307-2401.