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‘Lack of focus’ dooms HVA on Senior Night

The Hardin Valley Hawks lost its second District 3-AAA game of the season Friday, Oct. 22, to the Anderson County Mavericks 26-13 at the Hawks’ own Hardin Valley Academy Stadium.

Despite an interception by senior Adam Schlosser in the first quarter and several passing and running plays, the Hawks ended the first half trailing 13-0.

The Mavericks first scored with 7:12 left in the half with an 11-yard touchdown pass.

They followed up with only 34 seconds left in the half when Maverick’s quarterback Tanner Williams tossed the ball behind the line to Josh Mayes, who found running back Zane Roberts for a 63-yard score.

Hawks’ head coach Wes Jones said ending the half down by 13 was due to several “mental mistakes.”

After a 14-play drive leading into the half, the Hawks went for it on fourth-and-18 on their own 27 yard-line only to find senior quarterback Jake Bishop sacked to turn the ball over on downs.

“I think it was a lack of focus. I think we got caught up on Senior Night and some other things and we just lost focus,” Jones said.

“We had too many penalties [to] stop drives. We had a mental mistake before halftime; we should have been 7-0 right before halftime, if not tied up going into the half.

“No excuses. We didn’t get the job done tonight and Anderson County came down here and got the job done,” he added.

The Hawks rallied in the second half, but it just wasn’t enough.

The Mavs came out with 8:19 left in the third to put Hardin Valley down 20-0.

The Hawks got down to business and less than a minute later when Bishop found senior wide receiver Zach Clevenger for a 37-yard TD pass, only to have it called back for a lineman downfield.

The Hawks immediately capitalized again with a series of handoffs to junior running back Dorian Eskridge (20 carries for 101 yards), who finally punched it in from the ACHS 1 to put the first six on the board for the Hawks with 6:20 left in the third.

Eskridge, who left the game due to a concussion before the end of the third quarter, said, “The line and fullback did a great job and opened it right up.”

Bishop found Clevenger again for a 10-yard touchdown pass with 5:32 left in the game to wrap the scoring at 26-13.

“We put that play in this week and we executed it just the way we practiced it,” Clevenger said.

Bishop, who had great numbers (22 of 29 for 195 yards), said when Eskridge got hurt and they were already down by a couple of TDs, the Hawks’ gameplan had to change.

“Last year we would get behind by a few touchdowns and have to catch up, but this year we haven’t really had to do that until this game,” he said.

“When you have a runner like Dorian, why throw it? We have one of the best running backs in the state so we don’t need to throw the ball 50 times a game; we can throw it 20 times and be fine. So it was a mixture of Dorian going down and getting behind,” he added.

Bishop also racked up a couple first downs of his own running the ball. “I am pretty uncomfortable running actually. So a couple of times I was just thinking, ‘When is someone going to catch me?’ So that was a different experience for me running the ball,” he said.

The Hawks will travel to archrival Karns for a district match-up Friday, Oct. 29 — a game that Jones said will determine the Hawks’ playoff destiny.

Opening kickoff is 7:30 p.m.


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