Rushing attack propels Warriors, cruise past Panthers 64-12

Published 10:39 am Monday, October 16, 2023

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By Ron Marvel

Star Correspondent

Happy Valley made short work of Cumberland Gap Friday night in a dominant win on the road. Eyeing a home playoff game, the Warriors seemed to be hitting on all cylinders in a Region 1-2A contest. Going into the game, they knew they could ill afford a lapse and they came out and played like a squad that knew it! After grabbing an 8-6 lead after a Jamie Esterline score, the Warriors offense looked like a train rolling downhill; they would push the lead to 24-6 by the end of the quarter and take a 38-12 advantage into the locker room.

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Esterline would lead the charge with three rushing touchdowns, while Joe Sowards would add two rushing touchdowns to the mountain of scoring. Ron Paul Parker would chip in another rushing TD while Drew Blevins would connect with Esterline in the flat and he would rumble the rest of the way for a receiving touchdown.

Warriors Head Coach Jason Jarrett recognizes how the development of the ground and pound attack has fueled this HV resurgence, “We have rushed the ball effectively the last five weeks. As a staff, we decided to simplify some blocking schemes and take a more smash-mouth approach to rushing the football. Each week we have just tried to build off our schemes. It all starts with the offensive line and the skill players blocking. We’ve been able to distribute the ball to multiple players without having to rely on one player every game for the brunt of the carries. We’ve been able to kind of form an identity with a power rushing attack, which we must continue to build on as we progress over the next couple of weeks,” Jarrett said.

On the other side of the line of scrimmage, the Warriors were flying to the ball all night long shutting down the Panther Straight T offense. Perhaps the highlight of the night was a scoop and score that covered 62 yards from Mason Norman; Coach Jarrett was quick to acknowledge the importance of complementary football this time of the year, “Defensively, we’ve had a total team effort. Last Friday was the perfect example of that as Gap requires you to defend four players every single play with the offense they run. We’ve done a better job of getting more numbers to the ball and forcing some turnovers,” Coach Jarrett added. The win improved Happy Valley to 5-3 overall and 3-1 in district play. They are currently on a five-game winning streak.

Happy Valley will hit the road once again Friday night traveling to North Greene to take on the Huskies; kick-off is scheduled for 7:30. The week after, they will return to Warrior Hill for Senior Night as they finish off the regular season against West Greene.