Warriors load up for Tigers

By Wes Holtsclaw

   This week the Happy Valley Warriors will face a stern test.
   Blasting up from the Region 2-2A ranks, the Rockwood Tigers are traveling to Warrior Hill bouncing back from a 28-6 loss to third-ranked Sweetwater.
   Happy Valley (3-2, 2-1) is looking to overcome a 30-14 loss to the Tigers from last season, where the Warriors gave the game away in the second half. It should be an exciting contest.
   "They are a very good football team coming from a dominating league of big play football," said Warrior coach Stan Ogg. "They've beat some good teams this year and had some close losses."
   Happy Valley will play the game without starting senior quarterback Lamar Rollins, who has an injured shoulder. Rollins will be out for an unspecified amount of time to heal from the injury, placing the football in the hands of freshman Todd Caldwell.
   The Warriors will rely on their backfield and line to carry them in this contest.
   "They've got a lot of speed," said tailback Tim Whaley. "We've got to execute our passing and running and keep our defense playing hard and strong."
   "We've got a little revenge to get," said Jordy Harrison referring to last year's loss. "Last year we played good in the first half then got the (crap) kicked out of us in the second. It's going to be hard with Lamar out -- we've just got to win it up front.
   "I expect us to come out and work hard and show what we can do. Hopefully, we can get Tim happy so he can waltz on somebody. I believe we can win it."
   Rockwood features a good running attack, but tend to throw the ball efficiently. Its star tailback from last season, Preston Gallaher, is now taking the snaps for the Tigers.
   Gallaher has rushed 46 times for 238 yards this season with a 23 of 55 for 255 yards in passing. He scored Rockwood's only touchdown against Sweetwater with a 90-yard return.
   He is backed up by a stud tailback in Bryson Pryor, who has ran 71 times for 424 yards, and fullback James Thompson, who is known for his big hitting, with 66 carries for 398 yards.
   Pryor is also the defensive leader for Rockwood with 69 total shots for the Tigers. He is backed up by Joseph Bowman, who is the team's sackmaster.
   Rockwood (3-3, 1-2) does a lot of sweep formations, and a lot of rushing similar to the Happy Valley style of play. The big key in this game is travel, as the Warriors will hold a homefield advantage.
   "We don't have to travel three hours, and that's a lot to be said," said Ogg. "We've gotta play good football with banged up kids. We have a lot of sickness, but the team's resilient. It'll be an adventure, I hope we find that edge on Friday."
   The way things are progressing at this point, the Warriors and Tigers could very well meet up in the playoffs if things were to end this week.
   "They've took some tough loses, and Sweetwater was tough on them," Ogg said. "They have to other teams in conference play that they'll be the favorite of. We're just hoping to get in ourselves."