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HVA wins OT thriller

Hardin Valley Academy began its football season with a dramatic rally, ending in a 34-33 win in overtime against the Carter Hornets on the Hawks’ home turf Friday, Aug. 20.

The Hawks were down 26-14 late in the fourth quarter, but an onside kick recovered by junior running back Jordan Newport with less than two minutes left turned the tide.

Two touchdowns, both scored by senior running back Dorian Eskridge, quickly followed — the last coming with only 39 seconds left in the game.

A missed point-after-touchdown left the game tied at 26-26 heading to overtime.

The Hornets won the coin toss and took the ball at the HVA 10-yard line. One quick pass into the end zone and a well-placed kick put Carter up 33-26.

The Hawks chose to run the ball.

Pushed back by a penalty leaving HVA third and 10, Eskridge made it happen on a handoff from quarterback Jake Bishop.

The 10-yard scoring run pulled HVA to within a point, 33-32.

“First thing in my mind is there is not a hole there and I had to bounce it outside. Thank you for my wide receivers and my linemen to hold it off for me so I could get it outside,” Eskridge said.

Hawks head coach Wesley Jones did a gut check and made the call for the two-point conversion.

Eskridge scampered inside for the win.

About the call being risky, Jones said, “We had been driving the football, so our offensive line was clicking. They gave us a look that we liked, so we just said, 'Hey let's line up on sideline and let's sprint right on in and try to catch them in that same formation and do it again.’

“When it works, you look like a genius,” Jones added. “If we didn't get it, they would be saying, ‘Coach why did you go for two and not kick it?’”

“We were talking about it on the sideline. I was thinking about playing our percentages, but during the third and fourth quarter, we looked like a MASH unit over here on the sideline with cramps and I wasn't sure how we would come back.”

Eskridge scored four of the five HVA touchdowns while senior wide receiver Adam Schlosser racked up one as well.

Jones said, “Dorian is incredible. Barry Sanders is what he looked like … he looked like a man-child.

“He was cramped up in the third quarter, and we had a young sophomore come in and carry the ball for us and then we went to Dorian and said, ‘Listen Big Guy, you are just going to have to carry us.’

“He just sucked it up and went in and played offense and defense,” Jones added.

“That guy is player of the game, no doubt.”


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