Warriors dominate Cumberland Gap

Published 10:59 pm Friday, October 23, 2015

By Collin Brooks



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When everyone found their way off the field, there was still one player remaining, kneeling on the ground soaking in the last time his cleats would touch the soil on Warrior Hill.

Overcome with emotion, senior wide receiver Josh Hammond took some time to gather himself before leaving his home field, after his team gained a 72-14 win over Cumberland Gap on Friday night.

“I’m so proud to be a part of this program,” said Hammonds, holding back tears. “I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”

He finished the night with 160 yards on three receptions and three touchdowns in the first half, and he and fellow senior Mookie Madison, shared in some of that emotion earlier in the day during their ride in to the field.

“He and I talked today and it was a little emotional thinking this was our last home game,” said Madison, who finished the night with 5 carries for 204 yards and three touchdowns.“We just wanted the best game of our careers and I feel like we showed it tonight. So it really means a lot to us to just come out here.”

It seemed like the two held up their end of the deal, leading the Happy Valley offense to 404 yards of offense in the first half.

“Those two are explosive guys and it starts up front, we had good protections up front,” Happy Valley coach Jason Jarrett said. “Those are two seniors. Josh has been very consistent catching the ball for us all year. And it was great to see Mookie break some long runs.”

Things got started early for the Warriors, as Hammonds hauled in a 50-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Justin Morefield with 10:51 remaining in the first quarter. After a three-and-out by Cumberland Gap, Madison found the end zone from 79 yards out to score his first touchdown of the night and put the Warriors up 16-0 just four minutes into the contest.

On cue, Hammonds followed that score with a 92-yard reception of his own from junior quarterback Sage Haun to give the Warriors their final score of the first quarter and put them up 24-0.

Junior running back Austin Hicks would get in on the scoring during their next possession when he was able to find pay dirt from 14 yards out to start the second quarter and give Happy Valley the 31-0 lead.

The Panthers were finally able to find the end zone with 8:44 remaining in the second quarter when quarterback Ethan Ellison rushed the ball from two yards out. A two-point conversion made the score 31-8. Ellison finished the night throwing 9 of 24 for 183 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

The Warriors answered with two more rushing touchdowns from Madison before Hicks returned a pick-six from almost 24 yards out to make the score 57-8 with 3:36 remaining before halftime. One more score, an 18-yard pass from Haun to Dylan Street, gave the Warriors the 58-8 lead going into the locker room.

The two second half touchdowns for the Warriors came from sophomore running backs Tyler Guinn, who racked up 81 yards on 8 carries during the second half.

The lone score for the Panthers in the final quarter was a 17-yard pass from Ellison to Brandon Helton with under four minutes remaining on the clock.

With the win, the Warriors’ season comes down to a matchup at South Greene. If the Warriors win next week, they’re in the playoffs. If they loose, their season is over.

“All eyes are towards South Greene right now,” Jarrett said. “They have a good football team and they are well coached. It’s going to be a challenge for us, but our guys deserve the chance to play for a chance to get in the playoffs.”