Blue Devils conquer Happy Valley on the road, 41-6

Published 11:06 pm Friday, September 9, 2022

Warriors defense not enough to stop Unicoi County ground game
STAR CORRESPONDENT
After winning their 2022 season opener late last month against the Cloudland Highlanders and falling in two straight contests to follow, the Happy Valley Warriors had a chance to redeem themselves and improve to two wins on the season Friday night.
The Warriors welcomed the Blue Devils of Unicoi County to the hill on Friday night, a team who had yet to lose a game coming into the non-conference matchup.
Happy Valley would take control of the ball as a result of the opening kickoff, and after gaining one first down the Blue Devils would force a punt and take over at the midfield stripe.
But soon after the Blue Devil Drive began, momentum would shift as the Warriors’ Drew Blevins intercepted the Unicoi County pass, taking the ball into enemy territory at the 30-yard line.
After both teams defenses would go back and forth trading possessions, the Blue Devils would finally find the end zone when Nehemiah Edwards took the handoff to the outside and down the sideline for a 37-yard score. The extra point attempt would be no good, giving Unicoi County a 6-0 lead with just under three minutes to go in the first stanza.
The second quarter of play seemed like it would be a quiet one, with the first nine minutes bringing defensive stop after defensive stop. However with two and a half minutes to go before the halftime break, the Blue Devils would score once more, with Edwards taking the pigskin up the middle for a 15-yard score. This time the extra point would be true, giving Unicoi County a 13-0 advantage.
And after a quick defensive stop late in the half, the Blue Devils would take over again in enemy territory with just over a minute before the break. Working against the clock, Unicoi County would score once again with the ground game, as this time Caleb Pelaez would break away around the outside from 15 yards out to increase the Blue Devils lead to 20-0 going into halftime.
The second half of action began with the same trend seen in the first, as the Blue Devils marched straight down the field on their inaugural drive, a possession capped off with a touchdown of the passing variety. From 15 yards out, quarterback Ty Engle found his receiver Jay Snyder across the middle where he would power his way into the end zone to give Unicoi County a 27-0 lead with five minutes gone in the quarter.
Happy Valley’s offense would come to life on their first drive of the third stanza, as the rushing attack would eventually result in a four-yard touchdown by running back Joseph Sowards. The two-point try was unsuccessful as the Warriors drew closer, 27-6 with three minutes to go in the third.
After the Blue Devils’ Pelaez would come up with an interception to begin the final period, it would only take one play for the visitors to score as Edwards would race down the sideline for his third score of the contest, this time from 60 yards out. With 11 minutes to play, Unicoi County would increase their advantage, 34-6.
And before the final buzzer sounded, the Blue Devils would add on one more for good measure with Brady Simmons taking the handoff seven yards and across the goal line to give Unicoi County the road victory, 41-6.
With the win, the Blue Devils advance to 4-0 on the year, while Happy Valley falls to 1-3 this season following the loss. The Warriors will be back in action next Friday in an inter-county matchup as they travel across town to take on the Hampton Bulldogs.

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