Happy Valley left everything they had on the field.
The Warriors saw a hard-fought effort come up just short in a 20-13 loss to Austin-East in the Class 3A playoffs on Friday night in Knoxville.
The loss ends Happy Valley’s season with an impressive 11-2 mark.
From the opening kick, both teams earned every point.
In the first half points were at a premium. The Roadrunners got on the board first with a kick from Eduard Hakizimana. Happy Valley saw a Dylan Street return wiped off the board on the ensuing kickoff due to a penalty. AE held a 3-0 advantage at the end of the first quarter.
The Warriors continued to plug away at the Roadrunner offense. Michael Harrah tied the game inside the final minute on a kick that bounced off the upright and was good. That sent the teams to the locker room tied at 3-3.
Austin East opened the second half scoring as Isaiah Ligon caught a Darius Harper pass for a 35-yard touchdown to take a 10-3 lead. HV had a promising drive stall deep in AE territory on a turnover.
Harper struck again on the first Roadrunner play after the turnover – this time finding Kashif Warren to give Austin East a double-digit lead.
Happy Valley, however, wasn’t done.
Dustun Sams got the offense cranked up, and Dylan Street finished off the quick drive with an 18-yard touchdown to pull the Warriors back within just under 10 minutes to play in the game.
Hakizimana and Harrah traded field goals, and the Warrior defense forced a punt with just over 1:30 left to play. Happy Valley saw Braden Sams make a one-handed catch over the middle to get the Warriors in striking distance. However, a pair of sacks ended the rally attempt.
Street led the HV offense with 89 rushing yards and added 19 receiving yards.