Seven touchdowns in HVA destruction of Heritage

HARDIN VALLEY — Despite having split its first two games, the Hardin Valley Academy football team has had its share of offensive struggles to open the 2018 season.

But the Hawks saw their offense click into gear early and the result was a 49-0 victory over Heritage Friday night, Aug. 31, at HVA.

The Hawks scored two touchdowns out of the gate against the Mountaineers (0-3), as Luke Filipkowski scored twice before the contest was seven minutes old.

The junior running back rushed for the game’s first score, a 1-yard scoring plunge, followed by a 12-yard touchdown reception from senior quarterback Grayson Vaughn to make the score 12-0.

“We had a good game tonight and it was a great team win,” said Vaughn, who went 11-for-18 and amassed 171 yards through the air and had a pair of touchdown passes. “Our offense had been struggling and our coaches told us that Heritage was a good team.

“We had a good game, but we still have some things that we need to get cleaned up before we play Central (this) week. Central is a good team, so we’ll have to be ready to play,” he added.

Hardin Valley also got two rushing touchdowns from Kelton Gunn, covering 48 and 18 yards. The junior finished with 166 yards on 12 carries.

The Hawks (2-1) flexed their offensive muscle all night, but they also had a stiff defense and made a pair of big plays on special teams. HVA went up 21-0 on a safety when Heritage made a special teams gaffe. The Mountaineers’ punt team surrendered a safety on an errant snap that went out of the end zone.

Hardin Valley also blocked a punt before halftime.

Vaughn threw his second touchdown pass in the waning moments of the second stanza.

He connected with Cartez Campbell from eight yards out to give the Hawks the 28-0 advantage they enjoyed at the break.

Campbell, who finished with four receptions, said he knew he had to be ready to make plays.

“At that point, our offense was struggling a little bit and (head) coach (Wes) Jones and (receivers coach Scotty) Dykes both told me to be ready,” he said.

“Grayson threw it up there and I went and got it, it was a play that we call ‘Utah,’” Campbell, a senior, added.

Gunn added his second rushing score (18 yards) on HVA’s first possession of the third stanza.

Hardin Valley’s large lead gave Jones the chance to see some different players on offense in the second half.

Adrian Garcia rushed for a touchdown and Eric Smith had a 5-yard scoring scamper to close out the scoring.

Smith, who also plays linebacker, had seven tackles against Heritage.

“We ran the ball well and we threw the ball well,” Jones said. “We played good solid defense and we had a couple of big plays on special teams. This was just a great overall win.”

Opening kickoff versus Central (2-1) at the Bobcats’ Dan Y. Boring Stadium/Joel Helton Field is 7:30 p.m., Friday, Sept. 7.