In another close vote, the Cloudland-Happy Valley football game captured Game of the Year honors in the Best of Carter County Sports.
It was an instant classic as a last second defensive play sent the ‘Landers to 2-0 for the first time since 2005.
After a scoreless first quarter, Cloudland broke onto the board first when Austin Whitehead found Nick Johnson for a four-yard touchdown pass with 7:52 left in the quarter. Dylan Markland added the extra point to give the ‘Landers 7-0 lead.
Happy Valley answered later in the quarter when Tyler Marlowe hit Ethan Bennett for a 12-yard touchdown pass, but the extra point was unsuccessful.
Colby Birchfield broke free for a 21-yard touchdown run with 43 seconds left in the half, and Markland hit his second extra point of the night. However, Happy Valley responded with a Josh Hammonds 18-yard touchdown pass from Marlowe 2.8 seconds left, but the Cloudland defense stopped the two-point conversion to take a 14-12 lead into the locker room.
In the third quarter, Happy Valley took an 18-14 lead with four minutes left in the third quarter as Phillip Garland ran in for a four-yard touchdown run. However, the ‘Landers responded with an eight play drive that was capped off when Mason Carnett scored from 14-yards out with 11:43 left in the game.
The Warriors threatened in the closing minutes. However, the CHS defense rose to the occasion as Colby Birchfield forced the fumble that went out of the endzone for a Cloudland touchback.in the final minute of the game.
Garland led Happy Valley with 101 yards on 28 carries, while Marlowe went 10-of-14 for 102 yards and a touchdown. Marlowe also added 53 yards on eight carries.
Whitehead had 157 yards on 18 carries, and also went 3-for-6 with 18 yards and a score. Birchfield recorded 77 yards on 11 attempts.
Previously announced winners:
Male Team of the Year: Cloudland Football
Female Team of the Year: Elizabethton Basketball
Coach of the Year: Matt Birchfield, Cloudland
Male Athlete of the Year: Ethan Thomas, Elizabethton