Happy Valley looking for upset bid against Cloudland

Published 3:19 pm Tuesday, October 12, 2021

ROAN MOUNTAIN – It’s always an interesting affair when Carter County teams mix it up against one another. This Friday should be no different as the two teams involved are coming off huge wins for different reasons.

Cloudland clearly comes in the favorite, but rules were made to be broken and that’s exactly what Happy Valley will have on their mind.

Cloudland is coming off one of their biggest wins in recent history as they thumped an undefeated Unicoi County team at their place. The Highlanders are having a whale of a season and will be hoping to avoid a trap game against a hyped-up Warriors squad.

The Happy Valley Warriors are coming off their first win the season in an emphatic victory over Johnson County. The Warriors, whose offense has looked lackluster this season,  looked reborn in the win. With Reagan Ensor at quarterback, Andrew Little has been able to become more of a playmaker for the Warriors.

The Warriors defense was never in question this season as they’ve given a 110 percent, but they were only able to do so much. Now, the boys from the Valley have got a balanced attack with Pedro Colunga being a late-season revelation at running back.

With that being said, Cloudland clearly enters the game a resounding favorite. Monday’s Tennessee state 1-A rankings had the Highlanders at number six as all they’ve done this season is climb. After beating a state-ranked team a division higher and away from home, Cloudland might very well be one of the best 1-A teams statewide.

For Cloudland, it’s simple. Let the defense lead the way like they have all season and realize the offense will put points on the board. The biggest issue for the Highlanders may be the question mark that looms over an offense that really is brand new.

The key for the Warriors has to be execution. When it comes to looking for the upset bid, the Warriors can’t turn the ball over,  commit dumb penalties or miss tackles. The little things are what are most important in these types of games.

Regardless of who wins, Carter County went undefeated in play last week and it’s refreshing to see competitive football throughout the county.

While a Happy Valley upset at Cloudland this Friday looks unlikely, anything can happen when teams execute the way they’re supposed to. Another thing to keep in mind is something a wise man once said, – defense wins games, special teams win championships.