Warriors blitz West Greene


Photo by Rick Harris
Happy Valley fullback Logan Birchfield weaves through the West Greene defense.

By Marvin Birchfield
STAR STAFF
mbirchfield@starhq.com
It was like the days of old, with the Warrior chasing down the Buffalo for the kill.
On Monday night, Happy Valley's junior team dropped West Greene in convincing fashion, 33-0, on the Warriors' home turf.
The running Warriors exploded out of the backfield, gaining 302 yards of offense on the ground and trampling the Buffalo defense.
"Both our backs looked hungry, and they've been wanting to get a chance to play and have been working hard with our varsity," said Happy Valley coach Larry Abel. "So they got their chance and played well."
Things did not get off to a good start for West Greene, when a fumble on its first play from scrimmage resulted in John Stamey making the recovery for the Warriors at the Buffalo 46-yard line.
Freshman tailback Francisco Borquez took over by carrying the ball from one side of the field to the other, and eventually scoring on a 14-yard run after having a previous touchdown run called back.
The Warrior defense was relentless, showing the Buffaloes the detour sign with their running game.
Defensive lineman John Calandros hammered fullback Donavon Fallbush for a loss, forcing the Buffaloes to punt on their second possession while still looking for a first down.
"We're just going to have to keep working hard, but Happy Valley has a good program and we have to continue to plug along, so hopefully we'll get better by the end of the year," said West Greene coach David Ridley.
Happy Valley went to its other running threat on its second series with the ball, as fullback Logan Birchfield blasted his way up through the line to ramble off a 38-yard touchdown run.
The Warriors continued to find success with Birchfield in the second quarter, as he made a scoring run of 39 yards up the middle with the bounce to the outside.
"We were able to get some experience with our young tailback and fullback, so with being only three deep on varsity and the injuries we've had, they could be called up to step in," said Abel.
It was a 20-0 lead enjoyed by Happy Valley at halftime, as the Warriors had 183 yards on the ground, with West Greene posting 54 yards total.
To start the second half, the Warriors were penalized on the opening kickoff, which put them back around their own 10 yard-line.
An injured Borquez sat out during the third and fourth quarters, and Chris Bennett got the call as his replacement.
"All of our backs did a great job for us tonight, and I was real pleased with everybody who played back there," said Abel.
The combination of Birchfield and Bennett moved the ball down the field, and a 25-yard screen pass over the middle from Daniel Shankle to Stamey capped off the a 9-play, 90-yard drive.
"They all got out there and was ready to play," said Abel. "Bennett came in after Borquez, took a hit to the nose, and he did a good job with his first time being in the backfield."
A struggling Buffalo offense saw most of its success come through the air, with quarterback Chris Norton completing four of five passes for 39 yards.
"They have a couple of good backs, and we're just going to have to get some of these freshman playing a little better," said Ridley. "We have a lot of young kids that play on Friday, so we're going to keep it simple and keep working on the fundamentals."
Paul Clark came up with a nice hit for a two-yard loss, and a swarming defense finally created a turnover, with Russell Hughes making the fumble recovery.
The Warriors added their last touchdown in the final minute of the contest, when Birchfield made a spin move inside the five yard-line to elude tacklers on an 18-yard run.
"This was the first time our backs had a chance to play since the final part of the West Greene game last Friday, so they were fired up and ready to go," said Abel.