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Warriors host Golden Raiders for Homecoming

BY ALLEN LAMOUNTAIN
SPORTS CORRESPONDENT
Riding a three-game win streak that has turned the Happy Valley football season around the Warriors will look to extend that streak when Sullivan North comes to call on Friday night at Warrior Hill looking to spoil Homecoming.
The Golden Raiders (0-7, 0-3 conference) has scored just 22 points for the entire season and has had two COVID related losses but HV head coach Jason Jarrett sees North as a worthy opponent saying, “We have dropped two conference titles in the last four years because of them, so they have our full attention.
“They have been a thorn in our sides for several years for whatever reason the last couple of years we haven’t played well against them. That’s a credit to them and a discredit to me for not getting the guys ready.”
Senior running back Matthew Bahn has been a big reason for the Warriors turnaround rushing and receiving for 360 all-purpose yards as HV overcame Johnson County 30-16 last Friday in a non-conference clash.
The week before Bahn rushed for 267 yards and three first-half touchdowns as the Warriors (4-3, 1-1 conference) turned Unaka away 33-6 and he had a big day at Cosby in a 49-0 whitewashing of the Eagles in a big conference win.
“There are times he gets the yards on his own,” Jarrett said. “Then there are times the holes are big enough to drive a truck through. That’s a credit to the guys upfront.
“We have to be more efficient in the passing game. We are aiming for a better completion percentage and better protection. We need to throw it better.”
HV did manage to get 95 passing yards against the Longhorns with senior quarterback Eli Ayers connecting with Bahn on a 67-yard scoring pass to give the Warriors their first lead of the game.
Ayers has speed in Andrew Little and size in tight end Alex Lunceford and fullback Landon Babb who are all threats with the ball in their hands as well as Bahn.
The guys upfront usually are able to get the run game going but – as most at this level – have a bit of trouble holding up against the pass rush.
That will have to improve if the Warriors want to open up the passing game and become the balanced offense Jarrett wants.
“Our coaching staff has done a great job with these guys in preparation,” Jarrett said. “We just have to stay healthy.
“That’s a big key, especially these days when you can have one kid come down with symptoms and that throws everything off. Staying healthy is the key.”
The game time is 7:30 pm on Warrior Hill.