• 66°

Tough road game… Happy Valley travels to Rockwood for Class 2A opening playoff round

BY IVAN SANDERS
STAR SPORTS EDITOR
ivan.sanders@elizabethton.com
To be the best you have to be the best.

Everyone has heard that statement throughout the history of competitive sports from T-ball to professional sports.

However, that has to be the anthem that Happy Valley head coach Jason Jarrett has to convince his team of as the Warriors will board the bus on Friday and head to Rockwood for a very challenging first-round showdown to open the 2020 TSSAA Division 1 Class 2A playoffs.

No one wants to have a tough game on the opening night of prep football playoffs but the Warriors should take their showing last week against South Greene and realize that from the first of the season to now they have grown as a team and leaps and bounds and believe that nothing is impossible.

Playing the Rebels to a seven-point game last week should be convincing to the Warriors they are able to stay toe-to-toe with Friday night’s challenge.

With Matthew Bahn running hard and putting up big numbers on the ground to senior Eli Ayers finding the opening receiver from the quarterback slot, the Warriors have the tools it takes to face off with anyone.

If there is one key for the Warriors, it is to protect the football and to maintain long drives to keep Rockwood’s offense on the sidelines while controlling the clock.

The best defense for a team is often its offense and its ability to effectively move the football.

When the Warrior defense is on the field, they will need to focus on limiting the Rockwood offense to as few plays as possible without picking up and big gainers on third down to force punts.

Jarrett and his coaching staff have done their part to prepare the Warriors and now the rest lies on the shoulders of the players to execute the game plan laid out to them.

If everything comes together cohesively, the Warriors have an outstanding chance of returning to Warrior Hill with a victory and a second-round playoff contest next week.