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Another shutout
Healed Eskridge, HVA, blank Clinton 27-0

Dorian Eskridge returned to the Hardin Valley Academy football team's lineup Friday night.

He wasted little time making an impact as he led the Hawks to a 27-0 victory in its District 3-AAA clash against Clinton at HVA Sept. 9.

Eskridge, Hardin Valley's senior tailback, rushed for 194 yards and three touchdowns as the Hawks improved to 2-1 on the season. He missed most of the Hawks last game, a 38-24 loss at Heritage, due to concussion-like symptoms Aug. 26.

He wanted to come in here and play well because he got dinged up last time, Hardin Valley coach Wes Jones said of Eskridge. He really felt like he let the team down.

Hardin Valley, however, got off to a sluggish start coming off its bye week. We knew Clinton was going to play hard, Jones said. And we knew coming in that our offense was going to be rusty coming off the bye.

The Hawks (2-1 overall, 1-0 in the district) didn't handle adversity well against the Mountaineers. HVA, which jumped out to a 17-0 lead against Heritage before a late collapse, had early troubles versus Clinton.

The Dragons (0-4, 0-3) moved the ball effectively on the game's first possession but they fumbled deep in HVA territory and Travis Scott recovered to give the Hawks the ball at their 15-yard line.

The Hawks then engineered a 10-play drive that came to a halt when Stephen Antonelli intercepted a Tim Vara pass. Hardin Valley lost a fumble on its second possession.

We came out slow because we hadn't played in two weeks, Eskridge said.

The Hawks finally kicked its offense into gear early in the second quarter. A big play on special teams led to HVAs first score.

Reed Honken partially blocked an Antonelli punt and Hardin Valley took possession at its 46 with 8:42 remaining in the first half.

From there, Hardin Valley drove 54 yards on four plays. Eskridge culminated the drive with a 33-yard scoring scamper. Michael Peryo added the extra point to give the Hawks a 7-0 lead midway through the second stanza. Eskridge's TD run was the only scoring of the opening half.

We just had a little rust, Jones said. We went in at halftime and made some adjustments.

While Hardin Valley's offense sputtered early, the defense was dominant throughout the contest. The Hawks, who have recorded two shutouts at home this season, held the Dragons to just 97 yards of total offense.

Eskridge made it 14-0 late in the third quarter, scoring from 40 yards out with 2:18 remaining.

Eskridge scored his final TD 30 seconds into the final period with another 40-yard run. I turned into a fan on that run, Jones said. I was jumping up and down. I've coached a lot of kids. Some have gone on to UT or UT-Martin, but I've never seen a kid who can turn on a dime like he can.

Jordan Newport closed the scoring with a 17-yard run with 6:55 left.


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