The sweet taste of victory never tasted so good for Happy Valley on Friday night.
The Warriors picked up their first win of the season as they dispatched Unicoi County 29-12 on Warrior Hill.
After a scoreless first quarter, the Warriors struck first as they marched 80 yards on a drive that was capped off by a three-yard touchdown run by Phillip Garland with 5:58 left in the first half. In the final minute, Garland added a two-yard score as Happy Valley held a 13-0 advantage at the half.
Garland opened the scoring in the second half midway through the third quarter with a 26-yard touchdown run, and then added a 15-yard touchdown scamper to push the Happy Valley lead to 26-0.
After Unicoi scored on a 90-yard kickoff return to close the gap to 26-6, the Warriors saw Tristian Pate hit a field goal to extend the Happy Valley lead. The Blue Devils added a late score, but it wasn’t enough as the Warriors picked up their first win of the season.
Garland finished the game with 168 yards on 23 carries, while freshman Brayden Sams went 10-for-10 passing with 179 yards.
The Warriors return to action with a trip to Sullivan East next week.
“I’m so happy for these players. The assistant coaches work really hard and we needed this tonight. Coach Glenn White is a class act and they’re doing things the right way at Unicoi. But, that was a big one. This is a longtime rivalry between Happy Valley and Unicoi.”
“We’re so proud of our kids. It’s been a tough season for them and it’s not typical of Happy Valley football. We’ve battled some injuries and had a tough schedule. This will be something to build on and we will celebrate for 24 hours and then we have to turn our focus to a good East football team.”
-Happy Valley Head Coach Larry Shivley