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A few HVA Hawks soar
March among Hardin Valley players making hay despite loss to Central

Trey Byrd, Hawks’ junior tight end, hauls in a deflected pass for a HVA touchdown against Central.- Dan Barile/farragutpress
It looks like Keith March will get the chance to become Mr. October for the Hardin Valley Academy Hawks.

The relative newcomer to football is trying to make the most of his opportunity.

While two tailbacks were unable to play because of injuries, March rushed for a career-high 93 yards on 17 carries against a tough Central defense.

HVA coach Wes Jones called it “a fantastic game” and said the game plan was simplified to help make it possible.

It is just the third season for March (5-foot-9, 170 pound), who is among just five HVA seniors.

“It was the best game I ever had,” said March, who had a 55-yard carry early in the second half and also returned a kickoff 40 yards. “It was nice to have a lot of carries and the line did the best they could. I just wish I could have played better.”

Although there was improvement overall, several Hawks felt the same way after the 34-15 defeat in a District 3-3A game.

HVA (1-4, 0-3) has lost four in a row since the season started with a 7-0 upset at Carter.

“We are the new kids on the block,” said Jones, who had eight starters on the sidelines with injuries or because of academic reasons.

“I saw a lot of encouraging signs in this game. We just haven’t had time to develop the type of leadership it takes to compete on every down at this level,” he added.

“What are you going to do on third-and-7 or third-and-8? We’ve got to find a way to make a play and stop these other teams from picking on us. Our kids need to learn they can’t pick and choose when they’re going to cut loose and play.”

After Central claimed a 12-0 lead, the Hawks answered midway through the second quarter.

Trey Byrd caught a deflected pass over the middle from Jake Bishop on fourth-and-2 and turned it into a 19-yard touchdown. Adam Schlosser also scored on a 22-yard pass from Bishop. He had a team-high five catches for 72 yards.

Although Bishop continued to be hurried or knocked down, he was 9-of-21 passing for 111 yards.

Josh Brown was the only other Hawk with more than one reception and made a nice sliding catch for an 18-yard gain.

Matt Donovan had both first-quarter highlights with punts of 56 and 53 yards.

A.J. Leverett, Zach Clevenger and Josh Krebs had sacks and minus yardage tackles. Del Fercho had a touchdown-saving tackle. Freshman Matt Rayburngot got his first start at strong safety.

“For this to be their first year, they’re good,” said Bobcats standout Carlos Campbell, who scored three touchdowns on carries of 4 and 68 yards and a 95-yard kickoff return. “They are real good ... it just takes time to build a program and get everyone on the same page every day of the week.”

Two-way standouts Dorian Eskridge and Ricardo Winston have missed consecutive games — Eskridge with a sprained ankle while Winston was hurt at Campbell County Sept 19.

“I hope to be back for the Powell game [Oct. 2],” said Eskridge, the team’s leading rusher.

But Jones warned, “There’s going to be some competition because Daniel Vesco and Keith March have stepped their games up.”

Vesco picked up the slack with 44 yards on eight carries. He also played well defensively.

Opening kickoff Friday, Oct. 2, at Powell is 7:30 p.m.


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