Happy Valley renews hostilities with Chuckey-Doak

Published 12:01 am Thursday, August 29, 2019

A rivalry that hasn’t been renewed since 2008 will begin anew on Thursday on Warrior Hill as Happy Valley will host Chuckey-Doak. In 2008 the Warriors hung a decisive 34-14 win in a Watauga Valley Conference tilt.
“Chuckey-Doak used to be in the old Watauga conference,” Warriors head coach Jason Jarrett said. “It was a great conference, very competitive and I got to know coach (Ben) Murphy down there and we have scrimmaged them for years so when the opportunity came to get them on the schedule I was all in.
“I have a lot of respect for Coach Murphy and he does a tremendous job and he has had a good team the last several years.”
For the Warriors (1-0 overall), the season opened with a 19-6 victory over Carter County rival Cloudland in a game where senior quarterback Noah Stevens completed 8-of-12 passes for 132 yards and two touchdowns.
“We had a drop and one other he missed on so he could have had 8 or 9 out of 10,” Jarrett said. “Stevens is an accurate deep passer and we think we have several guys we can incorporate into the passing game.
“A lot will depend on how our front eight contains their quarterback.”
That would be junior Matthew Palazzo whom Jarrett described as a dual-threat, “He’s dangerous and has a big strong arm and wants to throw the ball first.
“He can also step up in the pocket and get you right down the gut running the ball. He also has good enough feet to get outside the pocket too and any time you have a guy that can get outside the pocket running the ball it puts a lot of pressure on your back end.
“We got to do a good job with our front eight keeping him contained. They have some very skilled weapons on the perimeter.”
HV won the turnover battle against Cloudland in week one with an interception and two forced fumbles and Jarrett knows that it is critical to minimize offensive turnovers and capitalize on defensive ones.
“We had our hands on a couple of balls that could have gone for interceptions,” Jarrett said. “But overall, we won the turnover battle and it won’t be any different this week.
“Our front line will be crucial as they like to run a lot of misdirection. They run a kind of Wing-T out of a spread look and they can stretch the field and they like the crossing patterns.”
Chuckey-Doak is coming off a 48-0 loss at Knox Catholic and won’t have a home game until week three when they host conference rival Johnson County, so it will be especially important for the Black Knights to try and steal a non-conference road game.
“We are trying to find a way to get to 2-0,” Jarrett said. “I don’t think we finished strong last week and I said it after the game.
“We didn’t finish on the defensive side, but we won the turnover battle and you have to win that and we were fortunate enough to do that. Every week is a challenge and the 24-hour rule applies then you re-focus and get ready for the next challenge.
“We have a gauntlet of games in the first four with Hampton and then Unicoi County after this one.”
Game time is set for 7:30 pm.

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