Happy Valley pulls away from Cloudland in battle of undefeated teams



In a clash of undefeated teams, Happy Valley had the winning edge.

The Warriors slowly pulled away to take a 43-0 non-conference victory over Cloudland on Friday night on Warrior Hill. With the win, HV improves to 5-0 on the season, while Cloudland moves to 4-1 on the year.

On the game’s opening drive, Cloudland moved the ball out to midfield on the legs of Hayden Houston and Jordan Coffey. However, the Warrior defense forced a punt.

The Happy Valley offense overcame penalties and marched down on their first drive of the game as Will Tittle scored on a 10-yard run.

A Cloudland three-and-out saw the ensuing punt blocked which set up a 19-yard touchdown from Brayden Sams. The Michael Harrah extra point pushed the advantage to 14-0 going into the second quarter.

“The defense came ready to play tonight against a well-oiled machine of an offense,” said Happy Valley coach Jason Jarrett. “The games are won and lost in the trenches. I couldn’t be more proud of the whole defense. We work on trying to create turnovers every single day.”

The ‘Landers moved into HV territory early in the second after Josh Blair caught a fake punt on fourth down. Happy Valley, however, shut down the drive with a Kai Norman interception.

Sams capitalized on the turnover with a 16-yard touchdown run.

Malachi Benfield and the CHS offense once again went on the move, but Tittle jumped in front of a ‘Lander pass. That set up a 29-yard touchdown pass as Sams hit Jacob Searcy as HV took a 28-0 lead into the locker room at the half.

Tittle opened the scoring in the third quarter with a three-yard run. After Cloudland was stopped on fourth down, Sams raced into the end zone for a 16-yard touchdown run.

The Warriors added a late Harrah FG to account for the final margin.

Sams recorded 161 yards on the ground on 11 carries, while throwing for 144 on 5-of-10 passing. Tittle added 46 yards rushing, while Searcy had 54 yards receiving.

Cloudland was paced by Benfield’s 33 yards on six carries. Coffey had 32 yards rushing, while Hunter Blair had 25 yards.

“We had penalties and turnover,” Cloudland Head Coach Mike Lunsford said. “We just made too many mistakes to have a chance to win against a team of that quality. They cause you to have those. They are a very good football team and make you have mistakes.”

Happy Valley is set to host Grace Christian next week, while Cloudland will make the trip to Unaka.

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