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Happy Valley to meet No. 1 Meigs

Douglas Fritz • Updated Nov 9, 2017 at 2:22 PM

Hitting the road to face the state’s top-ranked team doesn’t sound like the best way to keep a season alive.

And a Mr. Football quarterback in Meigs’ huddle doesn’t make things any easier for Happy Valley.

But the Warriors are just 16 points away from being undefeated this season.

THE RECORDS

Happy Valley (8-3)

Meigs County (11-0)

WHO (Tigers)

It starts with quarterback Aaron Swafford (6-0, 180, So.). In a midseason 48-27 win over Rockwood, the Class 2A Mr. Football semifinalist ran for 186 yards and four TDs while also passing for 173 yards and three scores. He made four PATs, and had an 80-yard punt return erased by penalty.

He accounted for 186 yards and four touchdowns in the 46-7 win over South Greene last week. Junior running back Martin Smith had 108 yards rushing.

Linebacker Jawan Martin (5-11, 228, Sr.) is a beast with speed.

WHO (Warriors)

Senior quarterback Brayden Sams (1,532 total yards and 26 total touchdowns) leads the Warriors’ offense. Dakota Cochran, who is emerging as an offensive threat at running back, anchors the defense from his linebacker position.

WHAT

Second round of the Class 2A playoffs.

History: This is the first meeting between these schools.

WHEN

Kickoff is scheduled for Friday at 7 p.m.

WHERE

Meigs County High School is located 177 miles from Happy Valley High School.

COACH’S PERISCOPE

Happy Valley’s Jason Jarrett

— “Meigs has playmakers all over the field,” said Jarrett. “That’s why they are the No. 1-ranked team in the state.”

— “It starts with their quarterback. He is extremely talented. He puts a ton of pressure on defenses with his premier ability to run and throw. He is surrounded by a physical offensive line.”

— “Their middle linebacker is as good of a linebacker as you will see. He has great size and is very physical with great speed. As a matter of fact, their entire team possesses great speed.”

— “I really do not think the long road trip will affect us. Our players are very excited to still be playing, and especially against a quality team like Meigs. And we have played well on the road this year.”

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