Happy Valley takes Tigers by the tail

Published 12:50 am Saturday, November 5, 2016

Star Photo/Larry N. Souders Happy Valley running back Austin Hicks (34) leaps over a Tiger defender on a screen pass for a first down early in the second quarter.

Star Photo/Larry N. Souders
Happy Valley running back Austin Hicks (34) leaps over a Tiger defender on a screen pass for a first down early in the second quarter.

Revenge can be a fine motivator.
Happy Valley used it on Friday night to dismantle Rockwood 48-3 in the opening round of the TSSAA playoffs on Warrior Hill. Senior tailback Dylan Street rushed for 229 yards and three touchdowns and Rockwood had no answer for his speed and explosiveness.
Street also set up a Happy Valley touchdown run by Dustun Sams with a 55 yard punt return.
On the game’s first play for Happy Valley, Street got blocks from Austin Hicks and Sam Blevins and hit the crease for 47 yards to the Rockwood 12-yard line. Hicks followed with an 11-yard run to the one from where Sams blasted in from there for a 7-0 Warrior lead after the point after kick.
“Dylan is an excellent athlete with great speed,” Sams said. “Defensively we knew our keys and reads and we prepared well all week. That first play really got us going and built up momentum for us. When we are scoring in all phases it really gives us a lot of confidence.”
On Rockwood’s first possession the Tigers gained two first downs to the HV 47 from where junior running back Zander Price fumbled and Dylan Townsend picked up the loose ball and ran 53 yards to pay dirt. The PAT was missed but the Warriors led 13-0.
The Tigers (5-6 overall) moved the ball well on their next possession which saw Rockwood drive to the HV 32-yard line. On fourth and 10, freshman quarterback Nate Brackett was intercepted by Skyler Hyatt and HV took over at the 13 yard line.
Street capped an 87-yard drive with a 73-yard touchdown run – once again aided by a fine block on the edge by Blevins – and Brayden Sams run made it a 21-0 contest.
“It’s all about blocking,” Street said. “Blevins can block real well when he wants to and all the guys blocked well tonight. We came in with a chip on our shoulders – we have had that all season – and this is a very big win.”
HV (10-1) was pinned back to the 10-yard line on a fine punt by Trey Treadway but once again the speed of Street was something the Tigers couldn’t contain. Street capped the eight-play drive with a 46-yard touchdown run for a 27-0 Warriors lead.
The Warriors held Rockwood on downs next and Dustun Sams scored from five yards out and senior quarterback Sage Haun hit Blevins with the two point pass for a 35-0 halftime lead.
“We talked all week about getting a jump on them,” Warriors head coach Jason Jarrett said. “We got them in the defensive formation we wanted and Dylan used his God given speed to capture the edge and almost took it all the way. Our defense has played lights out all year and our guys were coachable all week and our coaches did a good job preparing them.”
On Rockwood’s first possession of the second half they drove from the 34-yard line to HV’s 14 from where Treadway kicked a 32-yard field goal on fourth and four to avert the shutout and make it a 35-3 contest.
It took HV just two plays to answer as Street blasted up the middle and cut to the home sideline and raced 64 yards for the touchdown. Michael Harrah’s PAT kick made it 42-3 in favor of the Warriors.
Rockwood went three and out and Sams put the finishing touches on the HV win with a seven-yard touchdown run for the final margin of victory for the Warriors who will now have to contend with second seed Knox Grace who defeated Sullivan North 34-7.

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