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Hawks grounded at Halls

The football coaching staff at Hardin Valley Academy has heard this saying before.

“One word with three letters and two are the same ...” Wow.

It also describes a District 3-AAA game at Halls that came within five minutes of starting one day and ending the next.

Openign kickoff Friday, Oct. 9, was delayed for two hours and 10 minutes because of a thunderstorm and tornado watch in Knox County. The bleachers and press box were evacuated.

Once the weather map finally gave way to the game plan, there wasn’t any doubt about the wow factor during Ricardo Winston’s 88-yard kickoff return less than five minutes into the game.

But the conversion kick was blocked and the 7-6 deficit got worse in a 34-13 HVA loss.

Hardin Valley dropped to 1-6 and 0-5 in district.

It won’t get any easier this Friday night, Oct. 16, when Oak Ridge visits the Valley for a 7:30 p.m. opening kickoff.

“Growing pains, man, growing pains,” head coach Wes Jones said. “We’re having all sorts of mental mistakes and growing pains, but the important thing is to keep working hard and trying to get better every week.”

Winston’s return was the longest play in school history and first kickoff return for a score.

“Well, it wasn’t enough,” said Winston, a senior that had missed consecutive games with a leg injury. “I just picked up the ball and ... went for daylight and [took] advantage of that great blocking.”

“That was exciting -— that was probably the biggest play we’ve had all year,” Jones said. “It was pretty exciting to see.”

There were several other bright spots, but not nearly enough solid team play overall.

Adam Schlosser supplied the other touchdown when he caught Jake Bishop’s 12-yard pass and stretched the ball over the goal-line. Schlosser had three catches on the drive and six of HVA’s seven.

HVA also had a goal-line stand in the third quarter. The Hawks received excellent defensive games from Zach Clevenger, Gary Dees and Josh Krebs.

“I play 100 percent all the time and I play for the team,” Clevenger said. “We’re young and inexperienced. ... We’re just going to have to suck it up. We’re not going to quit.”

HVA sophomore tailback Dorian Eskridge re-injured his right ankle on a 20-yard run.


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