Hardin Valley Academy’s football team will hit the road Friday night, Oct. 6, when it travels to Johnson City to take on Science Hill in a key Region 1-6A showdown.
The Hawks, who notched a 21-0 shutout victory over region rival Jefferson County, have won four consecutive games after getting off to an 0-2 start.
But head coach Wes Jones said his squad has still not played its best football despite entering the week with a 4-2 overall record and a perfect 2-0 league mark.
“We’ll have to be ready for this game because it’s on the road,” Jones said. “I thought our defense played exceptionally well against Jefferson County.”
However, “We still haven’t played as good as we can play,” Jones said. “... Jefferson County never really stopped us. We stopped ourselves.”
The Hilltoppers [5-2, 2-1] had their own problems at Farragut last week in a 35-27 region loss.
“They’re a very physical football team, both on offense and defense,” Jones said. “They’re big and they have some good running backs and some good receivers.”
Science Hill’s biggest offensive weapon is senior quarterback Jaylan Adams. His mobility makes him a dual threat. He threw for 159 yards and rushed for 135 versus Farragut.
“Their quarterback can present problems for you because he’s very mobile and he’s hard to defend,” Jones said. “That means that you have to defend those backs and receivers longer.”
Other key players for the Hilltoppers are Drew Morrison and Chris Thomas. Both running backs had touchdowns against the Admirals.
HVA has some weapons of its own. Senior running back Aaron Dykes rushed for 100 yards and a 3-yard touchdown on six carries against Jefferson County. Travis Griffin ran for a 12-yard touchdown. Luke DeFur had a 9-yard TD reception.
Junior quarterback Grayson Vaughn was 11-for-21 through the air for 100 yards and the TD pass.
“I thought Grayson had a good football game,” Jones said.
Defensively, “a guy that nobody will say much about is Nick Spencer who played nose [guard],” Jones said. “He was getting double- and tripled-teamed inside. ... He was getting beat-up on, but he had a good night for us.
“Jaylen [Moore] and Braylin [Jackson], and it was nice having Eduardo [Martorell] back on the defensive line,” Jones added. “... Those guys really flew around.
“Our linebacking corps with Luke and Lock [Hardin], … I thought Lock had another good night. And Cam York just continues to run around and play well.”