Jr Warriors clinch JWAC title

By Wes Holtsclaw
STAR Correspondent

   The Happy Valley Warriors came into last night's game needing at least one win to clinch the regular season JWAC championship, defeated the Cloudland junior Highlanders 56-14.
   "I felt bad for them since their best player and coach was out," said Happy Valley coach Alex Payne, "We came in here after a successful string of games and didn't want a let down. The team did a good job of getting ready and played good."
   The game was started with a Cloudland possession, featuring runs from Adam Stevens. However, the Jr. Warriors defense shut them down.
   Happy Valley took charge and delivered a quick one yard touchdown from Will Lowe, with a Todd Caldwell pass conversion tacked on, to take the 8-0 lead.
   On the next Cloudland play from scrimmage, Bryan Simmons coughed up the ball to a charging Chris Rutledge, who took it 26 yards for another score, with a missed conversion that made it 14-0 in favor of the Warriors.
   Cloudland would be stalled again after an incomplete pass, and Happy Valley would come storming back, this time with an 18-yard reverse sweep touchdown from the 'G-Train' Ryan Garland, with a conversion to make it 22-0.
   Cloudland would end the first after being shut down by a hard Jr. Warrior line.
   Happy Valley started the second quarter with a Rutledge 26-yard scamper to make it 28-0.
   After a Jr. Lander turnover on downs, Garland turned in a 19-yard run up the sideline of Warrior Field to make it 34-0.
   Cloudland was stalled once again, and Rutledge came up with a 29-yard touchdown, with a Chuck Rollins conversion to make it 42-0 at the end of the half.
   Happy Valley started the second half in repeating fashion scoring with a Rollins 18-yard touchdown, which gave Happy Valley a 48-0 lead.
   Cloudland then unveiled a surprise for the Jr. Warriors. It was Kenny Blevins, their huge offensive and defensive tackle. Blevins gained on huge carries, with a host of Warriors hanging from his back, to allow Adam Stevens a 21-yard score, which made it 48-6 Happy Valley.
   Cloudland's defense hammered Happy Valley on their next drive, after Blevins body-slammed Logan Birchfield, to take a fumble recovery.
   Nick Winchester fumbled the ball to the Jr. Warriors to end the third quarter; however, Happy Valley couldn't capitalize and Cloudland would come back.
   Blevins and Winchester exchanged carries, and the Jr. 'Landers came through with a big score from Blevins, with a Winchester pass conversion to make it 48-14 Cloudland.
   An onside kick recovered by Happy Valley led to a 45-yard touchdown from Francisco Bourquez, with a Rollins conversion to make it 56-14, which ended the game on a positive note for the Jr. Warriors.
   "Everybody contributed in this one," said Happy Valley's JMAC MVP candidate Ryan Garland, "Nobody takes over, we try to get everyone involved. As far as the championship goes, that is two weeks away, and we have to get through Unaka first."
   "If we go the distance, I don't think we will beat ourselves in the end."
   Cloudland offensive coordinator and interim coach Robbie Turbyfill was pleased with his teams effort. "Considering what's going on in the world today, we did a fine job," said Turbyfill, "We have to improve every day in practice. However, we've got to get ready for Hampton next Thursday."