In a county clash, Happy Valley outlasted Cloudland in a Saturday night special.
Matthew Bahn had five touchdowns as the Warriors took a 34-18 victory over a determined ‘Landers squad on Warrior Hill in the season opener for both squads.
It was a battle from the opening kick.
After the Warrior defense recovered a Cloudland fumble on the opening drive, Matthew Bahn capped off a five-play drive that covered 51 yards with a short touchdown. Eli Ayers added the two-point conversion.
The teams traded possessions over the next few drives until Cloudland’s Coy Laney stepped in front of an HV pass for an interception. That set-up a 27-yard touchdown from Chase Shell to get the ‘Landers on the board. The two-point conversion was unsuccessful as Happy Valley held an 8-6 lead after a quarter of play.
In the opening minutes of the second quarter, Bahn struck again – this time from four yards – to extend the HV lead.
Neither team was able to get back on the board until the closing minute when Seth Birchfield capped off an 11-play drive – that saw a heavy rain shower move through – with a short touchdown run.
That pulled Cloudland within 14-12 at the break.
The third quarter saw Bahn pick up where he left off.
The senior running back scored on back-to-back HV drives as the Warriors outscored Cloudland 12-0 in the period.
The ‘Landers, however, got momentum heading back in their direction in the closing minutes of the quarter and closed the gap back on the first play of the fourth quarter with a Birchfield three-yard touchdown.
HV, however, saw Bahn escape for a 51-yard run on the next drive to secure the win.
Bahn finished the night with 171 yards on 21 carries for the Warriors. Ayers was 4-of-8 for 61 yards through the air while adding 15 rushing yards. Rex Ranck had 24 tough yards for HV.
Cloudland was paced by Birchfield’s 104 hard-fought yards on 27 carries. Gage McKinney had 32 yards on seven carries.
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