Borquez, Junior Warriors upend Cloudland, 36-20

By Wes Holtsclaw

   Francisco Bourquez is a player, and he took an extra step in receiving the Little Watauga Conference Most Valuable Player award leading the Happy Valley Jr. Warriors to a big 36-20 win over the Cloudland Jr. Highlanders in Roan Mountain last night.
   "I thought we played a good game all around on offense and defense," said Bourquez. "The line blocked good for all of the backs, and I think everyone played solid on defense."
   Bourquez carried the ball 13 times for 123 yards and two touchdowns against Cloudland, with an 67-yard touchdown return to add to the mix.
   The win sets up a conference championship game next week between the Junior Warriors and the Junior Longhorns of Johnson County.
   "Well I'm happy to end the season on a winning note," said Happy Valley coach Alex Payne, "I'm happy with these kids. Francisco hustled and put some things together, and we progressed."
   "We played well in all aspects of the game, and I credit these other coaches with that. They do a great job out here."
   "Cloudland played their guts out and it showed a lot in the end. At the beginning of the year I didn't think we'd come this far, it's a tribute to these kids."
   Happy Valley and Cloudland started off with a pair of possessions a piece before Bourquez ran for the races with a big 30-yard touchdown run with a Logan Birchfield conversion to give the Junior Warriors an 8-0 lead in the first quarter.
   In the first play of the second quarter, the Cloudland team fumbled their kickoff over to Happy Valley, setting up some strong Bourquez runs and a Birchfield ten yard scamper. A Bouquez conversion put the tribe on top with a 16-0 favorable margin,
   Cloudland made some valiant efforts behind Jared Kodak, Josh Harrison, and Logan Buck, but they could never click on any cylinders in the first half.
   The Warriors ended the first frame with a five yard touchdown from Bourquez, with a missed conversion handing them a 22-0 lead.
   Happy Valley took the momentum wherever they went in this contest, and sealed the deal at the beginning of the second half with a 20-yard touchdown run from Birchfield with a Jordan Lewis conversion putting them up 30-0.
   Cloudland bounced back strong with some big runs from Junior Clawson. Clawson had three big runs to set up a 15-yard touchdown pass from Logan Buck to Kodak with a missed conversion run closing the game at 30-.
   Cloudland stalled a Lewis backed rushing attack from the Warriors, and regained momentum with a pair of big runs from Kodak and Harrison to set up a Clawson 8-yard touchdown. Another missed conversion pulled Cloudland within 30-12.
   The Junior 'Landers regained the football one last time in the contest, and on the first play delivered another Kodak moment with a 47-yard touchdown pass from Buck to Kodak. A Junior Clawson run gave the Junior 'Landers a closer 30-20 deficit.
   But Francisco Bourquez wouldn't have any more comeback shots, taking the next kickoff 67-yards across the state line to give Happy Valley a 36-20 win.
   It was the end to Robbie Turbyfill's first season as the head junior high coach at Cloudland with a decent record and preparation for the high school team with eleven eighth graders starting practice Monday with Coach Mike Lunsford.
   "I'm proud of these eighth graders," said Turbyfill, "We played hard in the second half. They could've hung their heads but they didn't. Happy Valley is the best team in the league and they are very well coached."
   "Junior Clawson, Jared Kodak, Josh Harrison, and Logan Buck stuck it out there and did a great job. I've got eleven boys moving to the high school squad on Monday, and if they can stay together it will be good numbers for them."
   Cloudland lineman Junior Clawson got a few rushing numbers for his team Tuesday night, and scored his first touchdown.
   "It felt wonderful," said Clawson, "It was the first time I've ever made a touchdown. I'm excited about moving up and I can't wait to play for them."
   Logan Buck led the air attacks in the game for Cloudland with 80 yards passing on a five of eight performance with two interceptions and two touchdowns.
   The game leads to a big season finale next week possibly on Warrior Hill when Johnson County and Happy Valley meet for the title game. Francisco Bourquez is awaiting the rematch.
   "Hopefully, we'll start off and go out and play as hard as we can, and give them a good game."