Hawks rout Dawgs

Bulldogs 7

Hawks 35

KNOXVILLE — A 53-yard drive started Hardin Valley Academy’s decisive victory march at Bill Young Field last Friday evening.

Four big pass plays, an interception return and a 26-yard run accounted for the final 28 points in a 35-7 Hawks win against Region 1-6A rival Bearden Sept. 2.

“Our defense played fantastic,” said HVA head coach Wes Jones, whose team improved to 1-1 overall, 1-0 in region. “That was a total team victory.”

The Bulldogs fell to 2-1, 0-1.

“Rook Landers had another great ballgame. He had a pick-six and 14 or 15 tackles and a sack or two,” Jones said about the senior linebacker.

Following Gavin Green’s 1-yard quarterback sneak and the first of five Andrew Foster conversion kicks making it 7-0 HVA late in the first quarter, Landers’ 28-yard interception return — off a deflection from Hawks lineman Ellis Chapman — upped the lead to 14-0 with 7:29 left in the first half.

“Jeremiah Russell played great on the defensive side of the ball. He had an interception and several big hits,” Jones added about the senior linebacker. “Our defensive line in general — Elijah Jones, Ellis Chapman, Kevin Brewer, Nick Spencer and Braylin Jackson — those guys dominated Bearden up front. We were out-weighed at least 40 or 50 pounds apiece up front, but our kids flat out got after it.”

Bearden 56-yard scoring drive got started with Jaquez Dove’s 43-yard kickoff return. A 14-yard scramble by Dawgs quarterback Dawson Houser — who occasionally scrambled for big yardage — preceded Ty Warren’s 15-yard touchdown run around the right side. It was 14-7 with 5:04 left in the half.

Green’s 66-yard touchdown pass to Thomas Clay down the right sideline, hitting the senior receiver in stride, made it 21-7 less than two minutes later.

“Their quarterback threw two really good balls that ended up going for touchdowns,” BHS head coach Morgan Shinlever said about Green. “We didn’t really think he was going to be able to make that deep ball throw, but he proved us wrong.”

“Gavin had a good game,” Jones said. “Thomas Clay had five catches for 122 yards and two touchdowns. Aaron Dykes ran great, and Seth Leary.

“And our offensive line, they grew up a little bit,” Jones added. “… We were able to get our eyes up and put hats-on-hats and make some big plays.”

With Houser missing the second half, apparently due to leg cramps, Hardin Valley went 85 yards beginning with a 28-yard pass to Clay and a 36-yard diving reception down the right sideline by Ethan Bozeman. It ended with Clay’s 15-yard TD catch making it 28-7 late in the third quarter.

Leary capped the scoring with a 26-yard run in the fourth quarter.

“We were very solid in the special teams. … Andrew Foster did a great job kicking,” Jones said.

“We didn’t play well. Offensively we struggled all night,” Shinlever said. “If we do that against a team that is pretty good, and you’re not giving your defense any help, you’re going to end up taking your lumps.

“Hardin Valley’s a pretty good ballclub,” Shinlever added.

Sam Coffin had an interception for the Bulldogs, while JaQuavis Russell gobbled up a Hawks fumble.

Not all the news was good for HVA. Tim Frizzell, senior running back/linebacker, suffered a knee injury midway into the first quarter.

“He took a good lick on that knee. We don’t know anything as far as the significance of the injury,” Jones said. “… We hate it for Tim because he’s put in such hard work and he’s such a big part of what we do.”