HV prepared for Husky invasion

By Jeff Birchfield

   No longer conference rivals, Happy Valley (4-4) and North Greene (1-7) still share a lot in common. That is apparent by the opponents each of the schools have faced earlier this season.
   Both squads lost to Hampton, while each triumphed over West Greene. Happy Valley did beat Chuckey-Doak 27-13, a team that squashed the Huskies. North Greene has already played South Greene and lost 44-0. The Rebels are the same team that the Warriors finish the regular season with next week.
   "They've got a decent ballclub," said Warrior defensive coordinator Greg Hyder. "Unaka got by them last week. We pride ourselves going ballgame to ballgame. So we just need to play like we have the last few weeks, raising the caliber of play."
   The things in common go beyond the limits of opponents faced as each team has a proven passing game to keep defenses honest. "We've been trying to throw the ball, but we lost our leading receiver Zack Morrison in practice," lamented North Greene head coach Tim Bailey. "He has his fingers broken. He played at Unaka, but it hampered his performance and ours too.
   "Dustin Collins our quarterback, had confidence in him. We had been been throwing about 30 times a game, but we don't have anyone else to fit that role."
   With Morrison at less than 100 percent, Thomas Ormsbee, Allen Guinn and Matthew Ormsbee compile a rotation at the receiver slots. When not in a shotgun formation, but in a power-I, fullback Cody Parks and tailback Jamie Williams are the legs behind the Husky running game.
   Happy Valley has been out of character with the passing game accounting for roughly forty percent of the Warrior offense the last two ballgames. While the combo of Lamar Rollins and Chris Campbell has been featured, other targets have included tailback Cody Cannon, receivers Andy Bean and Jack Everhardt and tight end Jesse Bowers.
   "People has done a good job stacking the front eight against us," said Hyder about his team's recent passing skills. "That has put the defense single up on our receivers. Lamar has grown as a passer. We'll have to rely on that from here on out. When we throw, it loosens things up.
   "It makes us more than one-dimensional and it makes us a better football team."
   Defensively the Huskies are led by a fierce trio, Thomas Ormsbee at linebacker, Justin Evans at end and Cody Parks as the starting middle linebacker. The defense is usually a 5-3 set, but does occasionally change. One thing that won't change will be the focus on stopping Rollins.
   "It all begins with shutting down Rollins," commented Bailey. "You can't concentrate solely on him. They have too many weapons. But, if you can slow him down, you have a chance."
   The Warrior gameplan is based around getting a multitude of defenders like linemen Kenneth Campbell, Daniel Dover and Matt Walsh, linebacker Forrest Holt and back James Matherly to the ball.
   "We've tried to preach to control the gameplan," Hyder remarked. "To do that, you control the line of scrimmage. This will be a different look than the last couple of weeks when we faced run-oriented team. This is a pass-oriented team.
   "We've stressed to get after Collins and I expect us to do that."
   For North Greene, Bailey says there is such a thing as a moral victory. "We don't have to win," said the Husky leader. "We just have to redeem ourselves and play competitive after last week (a 20-8 loss to Unaka). We feel like we've wasted the first eight weeks of the football season.
   "We like going to Happy Valley. It's a beautiful football facility with a real good football team. We always play them hard. Hopefully, we can help ourselves and also try to make them better."
   The Warriors aren't interested in the label of moral wins, especially after coming so close last week in a tough 24-21 loss to Gatlinburg-Pittman. "We've proved the last two weeks that we can play with good competition," Hyder stated. "We need to get back in the win column.
   "We have to win and get better before we end the season with South Greene. But, we're taking it one game at a time and aren't looking past North Greene. They're solid and they like to throw it a bunch.
   "They do some things very well and can hurt us if we can't contain them."
   Kickoff for tonight's Senior night ballgame atop Warrior Hill is at 7:30 p.m..