Warriors hope to continue Rebel frustration

Published 12:47 am Friday, November 1, 2019



As Happy Valley head coach Jason Jarrett put it after last week’s 13-6 victory over Trinity Academy, “We get a chance to play next week for all the marbles, and as a coach, you really can’t ask for more than that.”

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The Warriors (7-2, 3-1 Mountain East Conference) will be looking to make it five consecutive wins over South Greene (8-1, 3-1 MEC) when Happy Valley takes to Rebel Field on Friday for their season finale.

For HV, a win is a must because a loss combined with a Hampton win over Cosby drops the Warriors into fourth place whereas a win clinches them the top spot and a home playoff game.

“Our guys have got to buy in this week and have a good practice,” Jarrett said. “We came out of the game banged up a little bit so we got to get healthy put our best effort out next week. You always want to open the playoffs at home and with a win, we’ll do that.”

HV has taken the last two games from the Rebels on their home field. In 2015 they won a thriller when, then-sophomore, Brayden Sams picked off a pass in the end zone to secure a 28-22 win. In 2017, it was 28-7 in favor of HV.

“We have talked about this game all week,” Rebels head coach Scotty Verran said. “We know a loss puts us on the road for the playoffs and we want that home-field advantage.

“This is like a homecoming of sorts since I have many ties to Happy Valley. I coached Jason and I grew up with Greg Hyder. Our father’s both coached together and I have a lot of friends there.

“The big thing will be turnovers. Happy Valley has a great defense and they have feasted on turnovers all season and they will try to force us into them. We have to play smart and turnover-free.”

Senior quarterback Levi Myers is a dual-threat player in that he has good receivers to throw to and he can also run the ball with authority.

Sophomores Brody Jones and Luke Myers figure in the passing game as the younger Myers is also a quarterback who can throw off of trick plays as does tight end Justin Sutherland who is a threat in the red zone.

HV must be more forceful in the ground game as it has come to a screeching halt in the last two games. Sullivan North held the Warriors to 89 ground yards with junior Matthew Bahn leading the way with 45 yards on seven carries.

Trinity did an even better job in the rain last week as the Warriors managed just 68 yards with Bahn’s 28 yards leading the way. Junior quarterback Eli Ayers started hot against the Knights with two first period scoring passes to give HV a 13-0 lead, but trailed off in the second half.

Ayers finished the game 7-of-14 for 52 yards and he is someone coach Verran has set his defense’s eyes on.

“He is a good athlete with escape ability,” Verran said. “He extends plays and we want to keep him away from the home run play. He’s going to makes some plays we just don’t want them to be backbreakers.”

The game time on Friday is 7:30 pm.