Happy Valley takes to road versus Meigs County

Published 1:04 am Friday, November 8, 2019

Injuries have turned Happy Valley’s dream of home playoffs into an odyssey that will take them into the den of the Meigs County Tigers, one of the top-ranked teams in 2A.
The Warriors missed junior quarterback Eli Ayers and lineman Kamden Richardson in their 25-6 showdown loss at South Greene which could have given HV the Mountain East Conference championship.
The duo may be missing for this contest as well as head coach Jason Jarrett said, “We haven’t gotten word back yet on Eli or Kamden so we don’t know if they can go. Plus, Matthew Bahn got banged up at South Greene.
“I haven’t seen anything like it. We usually dress out 44 players but have only had 33 the last game and may have less in this one.”
The injury bug has hit the Warriors particularly hard but one thing the Happy Valley (7-3 overall) coaching staff preaches is a ‘next man up’ mentality and that will serve them well against the Tigers.
Meigs County (9-1 overall) is averaging 38.9 points per game and its only loss was to South Pittsburg – another East Tennessee football powerhouse.
“This team has faced and fought adversity all season and I am proud of them,” Jarrett said. “That’s the reason we are 7-3 and not a lot worse is the leadership we have gotten from our seniors.
“You have to have that and we have stressed the next man up mentality. It’s a tough road and we have risen from adversity all season really. We have to do it one more time now.”
HV has struggled in the run game the last three weeks and with Bahn in question, it will be up to senior ‘Mr. Everything’ Will Tittle to be the engine that drives the Warriors.
Last week Tittle stepped into the quarterback role and while he wasn’t real sharp in the passing game he did all he could to put the Warriors fortunes on his shoulders as he rushed for 135 yards in the loss at South Greene.
Senior RB Jordan Campbell and TE Ty Pierce will have to play significant roles to keep the season alive for Happy Valley. The Warriors defense has carried this team all season and will have to be stout on Friday night once again.
Senior DE Marquise Cole will have to have a big game shutting down the run and putting pressure on Swofford for the Warriors to have success in stopping the Tigers high powered offense.
Cole – along with sophomore Cameron Cochran and Drew Turner with freshman Mason Hicks will be charged with this task along with the linebacking corps of Tittle, Andrew Little, and Cayden Campbell.
Senior OLB Timmy Mounts is one of HV’s ‘walking wounded’ and has been hampered by injury as well which weakens an already challenged defensive unit.
“All we can ask is the kids give themselves an opportunity to win,” Jarrett said. “We battled against all odds against South Greene and we’ll have to do it again on Friday night.
“We were down 12-0 and had an opportunity to close the gap and we put together a nice drive where one play here or there would have enabled us to cut the gap to 12-7 or 12-8, but we couldn’t finish it out. All we can do is go down there and play hard.”
Game time is 7 pm.

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