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OR revenge huge at HVA


Hardin Valley Academy football head coach Wes Jones had plenty of questions Friday night after watching his team drop a 42-7 decision in a pivotal District 3-AAA contest against Oak Ridge at HVA.

“We’re going to have to find some people who are going to play for the next two weeks,” Jones said after watching his team lose its first home game of the 2011 season. “We have a lot to play for and we have a lot of work to do.”

The visiting Wildcats (5-3 overall, 5-1 in the district) wasted little time avenging last season’s 21-13 loss to the Hawks.

Oak Ridge was facing a third-and long on its first possession. The ’Cats not only converted but scored when Bradley Zullinger connected with Rian Hall for a 47-yard touchdown with 9 minutes, 49 seconds remaining in the opening frame to give the Wildcats a 7-0 lead.


That play set the tone for a blowout.

“They went over the top on us and hit that third-and-15 and we never recovered,” Jones said. “Hats off to Oak Ridge. They came to play tonight and Hardin Valley didn’t.

“Oak Ridge is a good football team and they’re going to win a lot more football games this year.”

Jones, however wasn’t so sure about his squad’s future.

“We have a lot of work to do on offense and we have a lot of work to do on defense,” he said. “This game was won up front.

“Their offensive line just beat our defensive line. They were just more physical than us.”

After the Wildcats scored their first touchdown, they went on to dominate the contest. Oak Ridge added another first-quarter score when Elliott Normand scampered to the end zone from five yards out to make the score 14-0 with 5:49 left in the opening frame.

Normand’s TD culminated a four-play, 63-yard drive that took just 50 seconds. The other big play of the series was a 39-yard run by Matt Moore that netted a first down at the Hardin Valley 10.

Meanwhile, the Hawks offense, which managed one first down on its first drive, went three-and-out on its next possession. HVA also was turned away in the first half when Oak Ridge held on a fourth-down play at the Wildcat 30.

The Hawks (5-3, 4-2) did manage to score on their third possession when quarterback Quentin Lunsford hit Dorian Eskridge for a 44-yard touchdown pass with 9:43 left in the second stanza. Lunsford’s screen pass was Hardin Valley’s first touchdown via the air in 2011.

That, however, was about the only good thing to happen for the Hawks on the night. By the time the home team found the end zone, it was already 21-0, thanks to a 4-yard touchdown run by Hall, who had 93 rushing yards in the game.

Hall, perhaps one of East Tennessee’s most versatile athletes, did it all for the Wildcats. He rushed for three touchdowns (including two from the Wildcat formation), caught a touchdown pass and relieved the injured Zullinger in the second half.

Zullinger, one of the district’s top quarterbacks, entered the game with an injured shoulder. He rested in the second half after going 3-for-6 for 95 yards.

Oak Ridge posted 320 yards of offense in the first half. The Wildcats were dominant on the ground against one of Knox County’s best defenses. Moore led the way with 131 yards, including the game’s final touchdown early in the third quarter. Normand had 58 yards for the Wildcats, who scored on their first six possessions.

Next up for the Hawks is a road date with Anderson County. The Mavericks, who boast one of the state’s most potent offensive attacks, dropped a 28-20 decision to Karns last week.

 

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