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Rough mountain road: Hawks fall at HHS

When Hardin Valley Academy and Heritage High School tangled on the gridiron Friday, Aug. 26, the two squads were headed in different directions.

The visiting Hawks had opened their season with a huge shutout victory over Bearden the previous week. Meanwhile, the Mountaineers lost to Jefferson County in demoralizing and embarrassing fashion.

Heritage was able to reverse its fortune with a 38-24 non-district win over the Hawks at HHS.

The first quarter belonged to the Hawks, who forced three Heritage turnovers and darted to a 17-0 lead out of the gate.

HVA got the game’s first score when Demonte Felden recovered a Mountaineer fumble and rumbled 44 yards into the end zone. That was the first of three first-quarter fumbles for Heritage’s Chase Cline. Hardin Valley (1-1) was able to capitalize on two more fumbles for 10 more points.

The Hawks forced the three fumbles on Heritage’s first 10 plays. During that stretch, Jordan Newport had a short touchdown run and Michael Peryo kicked a 35-yard field goal.

“We came out early and did the things that we were supposed to do,” Hawks head coach Wes Jones said.

But then the momentum shifted. Cline moved from quarterback to running back and Heritage went into the Wildcat formation.

From there, HHS (1-1) scored 17 unanswered points. “We just lost our defensive intensity and it’s one of those things,” Jones said. “It’s hard to figure out why.”

Heritage, which pounced on an uncovered kickoff at the HVA 32, was able to pull to within 17-14.

Senior running back and HVA team leader Dorian Eskridge, who rushed for 38 yards on seven carries, was removed in the second quarter due to concussion-like symptoms.

“He’s the heart and soul,” HVA senior defensive end Lee Warren said of Eskridge. “He puts us on his back and we need that guy.”

Hardin Valley’s lone second-half touchdown came from Jacob Weaver, who found the end zone from 16 yards out. His score tied the game 24-24.

Hawks quarterback Tim Vara was 3-for-8 with 40 yards and an interception.


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