The first county matchup of the season lived up to its’ billing.
Happy Valley used two fourth-quarter touchdowns to pull away and take a 19-6 victory over Cloudland on Warrior Hill on Friday night in a defensive slugfest.
From the opening kick, points were hard to come by for the two squads.
After the Warriors snuffed out a fake punt on the game’s opening drive, Cloudland repaid the favor as the defense held strong on the ensuing drive – including on fourth down. The teams traded possessions again before HV broke the stalemate.
The Warriors took the lead as Noah Stevens hit Blake Young for a 60-yard touchdown pass with just over a minute left in the quarter. The extra point gave HV a 7-0 lead at the end of the stanza.
Cloudland’s offense got things rolling in the second quarter as CHS took advantage of an HV miscue on a punt. The ‘Landers marched inside the Warrior 5-yard line but was unable to break into the end zone on fourth down. After Happy Valley was forced to punt on the next drive, Cloudland saw the half end on an interception.
In the third quarter, defense continued to rule the night as both squads limited scoring opportunities. The ‘Landers moved into scoring position late in the quarter, but a pair of penalties stalled the drive out as the third quarter ended with the Warriors on top 7-0.
Happy Valley seized control midway in the fourth.
Matthew Bahn broke free for a 15-yard touchdown on fourth down to give HV a 13-0 lead with just under six minutes to play. After a ‘Landers fumble on the ensuing kickoff, the Warriors made quick work as a three-play drive was capped off by a Stevens to Young touchdown pass.
Cloudland, however, wasn’t going down without a fight.
The ‘Landers marched down the field in a hurry on the legs of Triston Lacey and Connor Birchfield. Lacey ended the drive with a short run to trim the CHS deficit to 19-6 with 3:36 left.
Happy Valley, however, held on to secure the win.
Stevens finished the game 8-of-12 passing for 132 yards and two touchdowns, while Young had 95 yards and two scores on three catches. Bahn finished with 55 yards rushing. Title and Jordan Campbell had 39 and 20 yards, respectively.
Lacey led Cloudland with 82 yards rushing on 11 carries. Birchfield added 20 carries for 68 yards. Hunter Shell was 5-of-10 for 38 yards with Seth Birchfield recorded four catches for 27 yards.
Both squads return to action in Week 2 as Happy Valley will host Chuckey-Doak on Thursday night and Cloudland will welcome South Greene to Orr Field on Friday.
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