Valley's best moment came to start the third quarter, when it rode the running of Cody Winter to move 59 yards in nine plays to make it 15-14. Winter had eight carries for 44 yards on the drive, including a 1-yard TD run, and Henry Barron took a reverse 20 yards.
"We came out and changed the blocking a little bit,'' Hopkins said, "and took it to them right there.
"Then we got behind and had to try and catch up, and there's not much you can do about it. Some games you can't do anything about it. People are hurt and you miss passes and fumble the ball. The next thing you know, you're behind by three [TDs].''
Catholic matched that march by Valley with an even better one, covering 66 yards in 12 plays, converting three third downs along the way. The Crusaders also protected the ball all day, committing no turnovers.
"The potential's there,'' Sturm said. "We've shown this throughout the season in glimpses. We just haven't carried it over from game to game. What we've got to do now is just carry it over.''
Davis caught seven passes for 139 yards for the Crusaders, and Sturm also led the team in rushing with 62 yards on 20 carries.
For Valley, Winter was held to 59 yards on 16 carries after coming into the game averaging 113 yards a contest.
One of the Greyhounds' missing players was Raeshawn Breckenridge, who Hopkins hopes will heal enough to return next week. The speedy Breckenridge, who alternates with Whiteside at quarterback, has thrown for four TDs, run for one and also returned an interception for a score.
"We missed him a lot,'' Hopkins said.
Reach Rick Ryan at 304-348-5175 or rickr...@wvgazette.com.