Warriors run wild for 48-6 win over WG

By Jeff Birchfield
STAR STAFF
jbirchfield@starhq.com
MOSHEIM -- Brother, the Happy Valley Warriors were running wild more than "Hulkamania" in a 48-6 Watauga Conference opening win over West Greene at Sauceman Field on Friday night.
Racking up 355 rushing yards with an average of 8.7 yards per carry, the Warriors improved to 3-0 on the season to go with their league record of 1-0.
"I think the people up front really moved some people out of the way," said HV head coach Stan Ogg. "They communicated well of where we needed to block. It was a well-done effort by the offensive lineman.
"We ran hard and once we started getting on the scoreboard, they just continued to keep it up. We had a great defensive effort, too. Their backs were really running for their lives out there."
The tribe debuted new black pants to wear with the white road jerseys, but all the Buffs were able to see in the second quarter was the maroon number 33 on Tim Whaley's shirt as he ran by them. Whaley dominated the second period, gaining 110 of his game-high 170 yards.
The combination of his speed and the offensive line opening big holes helped Whaley to score on runs of 11 and 33 yards, and the Warriors to bolt to a 14-0 lead after a scoreless first quarter.
"We knew our blocking assignments," said Warrior center Cane Cannon. "We had hard practices this week. We focused hard on West Greene. We just blew our holes open the best that we could for Tim Whaley."
The aforementioned first quarter had been highlighted by defense. Cannon and Will Lowe came out on fire, making tackles for losses two of the first three plays from scrimmage and setting an early tone for the game.
West Greene started to have success throwing the ball on its second series before the first of two Drew Davis interceptions gave the Warriors possession at the Buffalo 11. Things were positive the next four plays for West Greene as it was able to hold HV out of the end zone.
"Even though the score was terrible, I feel better tonight than I did the last two Friday nights," remarked Buffalo coach Barry Carter. "We played with more intensity and we did some good things when we shut them down a couple of times. Overall, I think our young kids played well, but that's the way it goes."
In the second quarter, the defensive effort of Happy Valley was kicked up even another notch with Daniel Dover making three tackles behind the line of scrimmage, and a punt block by Michael Everhardt that set up Whaley's first touchdown run.
"We just tried our best to keep the intensity up," said Cannon. "We just kept the intensity going. Daniel and I, we're like brothers to each other. We keep each other going and we rely on each other a lot."
Josh Smith recovered a fumble to set up the second TD run. The Warriors' third trip across the goal line came through the air, courtesy of a nine-yard grab by Davis of a Todd Caldwell pass.
The third quarter saw Happy Valley continue to increase the score. Lowe barreled in from six yards out for the fourth Warrior TD. Michael Hollifield added a five-yard TD run with 1:40 left that capped off a seven-play, 71-yard scoring drive.
Freshman Francisco Borquez had touchdown runs of 7 and 28 yards in the final quarter to put the Warriors up 48-0. He ended up the game's second leading rusher with 80 yards. The Maroon and White were also aided on the scoreboard with a strong kicking game, which saw Casey Shatley connect on 5-of-6 PATs and David Gately nail his only extra-point attempt.
After HV's final score, the Buffaloes mustered six points when David Cogburn broke loose on a 75-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.
Cogburn paced West Greene with 96 of the team's 210 return yards. Jeremy Cureton also supplied 67 return yards, with a touchdown-saving tackle by Everhardt all that kept him out of the scoring column.
This was a bright spot for the Buffs after the offense sputtered for only 101 yards against a tough Warrior defense that forced six turnovers.
As expected the Buffs' plan was running straight ahead with big tailback Eric Large, whose workload consisted of 25 carries, of which he tallied 56 yards.
"Our defense worked real hard tonight," said Dover. "We concentrated on our speed and our strength to be quicker off the ball than a lot of people, and that helped us tonight. This team has improved 100 percent over last year.
"We have a lot of boys who have more heart than you can imagine. We've had guys who have worked hard and risen to the top. That has turned us into a good ball team."
The Buffaloes fell to 0-1 in conference play and 0-3 overall. Things do not look to get easier this coming Friday when they face 3-A power Rutledge.
Happy Valley will also step up in class that night when its enters a much-anticipated game against 4-A Elizabethton at Brown-Childress Stadium.