Loudoun Valley was the underdog going into last Saturday's Region II, Division 4 football playoff game against Western Albemarle, but the fourth-seeded Vikings claimed a 45-12 upset victory to advance to the Region II finals tomorrow against Charlottesville.

"It was one of those games where everything went right for us and everything went wrong for them," said Loudoun Valley Coach Mike Barton.

Western Albemarle allowed the Vikings to take a 24-0 lead at the half. Kenny Sims scored the first two touchdowns, the first a 65-yard pass reception from Kenny Mallory for a 7-0 first-quarter lead.

Western Albemarle picked up a Vikings fumble and ran it to the five. Valley's goal line stand stopped all four plays -- J.J. Merchant made a key tackle on fourth down -- to hold the lead.

Matt Bolen intercepted a Scott Abell pass and ran 54 yards to the one-yard line. Sims ran for a second touchdown to make it 14-0. Mallory threw his second touchdown pass 19 yards to split end Todd Woodall to widen the margin to 21-0.

A Warrior fumble set up a 42-yard field goal by David Konur with three seconds left in the half for a 24-0 score.

The Vikings continued the pressure and the defense forced another fumble in the third quarter. This time linebacker Vashon Page picked it up and ran 55 yards to the end zone for a 31-0 lead.

Midway through the quarter Abell threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Tommy Dudley to make it 31-6.

The best drive of the game came late in the third quarter when Valley had the ball deep in its own territory scored on Peppy Carey's two-yard scoring run.

Early in the fourth quarter Mallory completed the scoring with a four-yard run into the end zone for the 45-12 victory.

"It was the best football game our kids have played in a lot of years," Barton said. "We didn't sit back and wait for something to happen. We made things happen both defensively and offensively."

Loudoun Valley is now 7-4 but its record is deceiving. Barton purposely scheduled non-district games against Bishop O'Connell of Arlington, Jefferson County (W. Va.), St. Stephen's of Alexandria and Harrisonburg so the Vikings would get used to tough competition.

"We like to do that. It prepares you for playing against the big {teams}," he explained.