Warriors subdue Knights

By Jeff Birchfield
STAR STAFF

     AFTON -- Behind a bruising offensive line, Happy Valley (1-1, 4-2) wore down Chuckey-Doak (1-1, 2-4) in the second half to take a key 27-14 Watauga Conference win Friday night at the "Black Hole."
     "It was a big win," said Happy Valley head coach Stan Ogg. "The second half was better than the first half. We did a lot of reading, but we did a lot of big on big with our offense line too. It got our tailback into the secondary, because our offense line got people moved out of there. They really paved the way for some great running.
     "We had about three traps over 12 yards. That's getting on the linebackers and getting them trapped. That's a credit to the offensive line."
     Remarked Black Knight coach George Frye, "It was a hard-hitting game on both sides. When you don't make a team punt the ball, you're going to get beat. They only punted once all night. We had some missed assignments and Happy Valley has the athletes to make you pay when you don't do, what you're supposed to do.
     "Overall, I'm proud of our effort. It's a hard game to swallow. Neither team wanted to lose, but that's part of life and we have to just bounce back."
     The Warriors piled up 400 rushing yards and 18 first downs on the night, led by quarterback Lamar Rollins with 148 yards on 20 carries. Tailback Cody Cannon netted 134 yards and scored two touchdowns, while fullback Stephen Thompson completed a Maroon and White triple threat with 96 yards.
     "If it wasn't for the line (blocking) and the fullback running hard, I would have never gotten it," said Rollins about his big rushing numbers. "All of our backs were running hard and we had good blocking.
     "Sometimes the defense would pick up on me and I would pitch it out to Cody. Other times, I would just run it."
     Happy Valley drove down the field on the opening possession, before Rollins was intercepted by the Knights' A.J. Pricenor at the 11-yard line. C-D themselves proceeded to take the ball downfield, until coughing up a fumble on the Warrior 29.
     The next series took only five plays with Cannon taking an option pitch from Rollins and racing 45 yards untouched for the game's first score. Tim Whaley's extra-point gave the Tribe an early 7-0 lead.
     Chuckey-Doak quickly responded as 45 seconds later, speed demon Adan Blevins broke to the outside and trotted 46 yards to the end zone pulling the Black Knights within one.
     At 3:26 of the second quarter, Cannon capped off an 81-yard drive with his second touchdown from three yards out. Whaley booted another PAT and the Warriors were up by eight.
     That lead would once again be short lived, as four penalties were whistled against Happy Valley on C-D's next series, leading to a 3-yard touchdown run by Brent Price with only 19 seconds left in the half. A two-point conversion pass play from Pricenor to Justin Hill tied the game up at 14-all after two quarters of play.
     "We had two face masks and one late hit on that drive," said Ogg. "We can't give them that many yards. We were playing good enough defense in the first half, but twice we gave them a short field. Both times, it was due to penalties. That's something that has to be corrected. We know the rules and we have to play by them. Otherwise, I thought our defense held their backs to the wall."
     Overall, the Warriors were penalized 18 times in the game for 143 yards, including being whistled for the first 12 yellow flags of the night.
     A questionable call started the second half, as Happy Valley apparently recovered an onside kick. After a discussion at midfield, the game's officials ruled no recovery and to kick again to restart the half.
     HV's defense rose to the occasion after this brief setback, forcing Doak to go three and out. Back on offense, the line began to assert itself with Rollins' one-yard run at 6:15 of the third quarter putting his team back on top at 20-14.
     After the Black Knight offense stalled again, the ball returned to the Warriors' possession. With 3:20 left in the third quarter and faced with a 3rd and 16 on their own 18-yard line, Thompson made the most important run of his prep career. Busting through the line of scrimmage, the senior went the 16 yards needed to keep his offense on the field.
     "I tell you what, our line did excellent," Thompson commented about the run. "Everything went perfect. As soon as we snapped the snap, it was all great. We were even at the half, and in the second half, we came out here and played like we should. Coach (Ogg) told us at halftime to keep our composure and go out there and play."
     Added Frye, "Anytime you let a good team off the hook when you have them backed up, it comes back to haunt you. Happy Valley has the athletes to overcome that. In the second half, we lost our composure. There was a lot of frustration."
     After Thompson surged ahead, the Warrior offense turned things up a level with Cannon scoring off a third option lateral from Rollins at 10:49 of the final quarter. Whaley, who had his third extra-point attempt blocked, showed dead-eye aim in kicking the game's final point.
     Leading homestanding Chuckey-Doak's ground game were Blevins with 78 yards on 13 carries and Price, who gained 48 yards on 10 rushes. Blevins was also topped the receiving charts with 47 yards.
     Chuckey-Doak hopes to get back in the winning column this coming Friday as they play host to 1-A Cosby. Happy Valley, riding a three-game winning streak, will be "Road Warriors" traveling 145 miles southwest to take on Rockwood.