Six first-half penalties for 65 yards and a lost fumble stalled the Warriors early in a 44-6 victory in Region 1-2A conference action. Junior Will Tittle rushed for 139 yards on 15 carries and one touchdown for Happy Valley, which eventually started to roll.
“We lost our first conference game and that had us low, but we beat an undefeated team last week in Unicoi and that gave us a lot of confidence,” Tittle said. “We had a talk at halftime and came out and executed. We were sloppy in the first half, but got it together. Matthew Lawson has matured and took the reins at center, and our blocking has improved a lot.”
Defensively, Happy Valley held Cosby to just 19 yards of total offense — with all of it coming on the run.
Cosby (1-4, 0-2 region) got the first break of the game when junior wide receiver Ty Pierce fumbled on an end-around run and Cosby's Keaston Jackson recovered and returned the fumble 30 yards for a touchdown.
The Warriors (2-2, 1-1) pulled ahead on a 40-yard touchdown run from Tittle. Michael Harrah's point after was good and Happy Valley led 7-6.
The Warriors struck again in the second period when sophomore quarterback Eli Ayers connected with senior running back Dakota Cochran on a 24-yard touchdown to give the Warriors a 14-6 lead.
Cochran intercepted Cosby quarterback Hunter Workman and returned the pick 28 yards for the score. Harrah made amends for a missed 31-yard field goal with a 42-yarder at the close of the first half, handing the Warriors a 24-6 lead at the break.
It was all Happy Valley in the second half with senior Bryce Carter catching a 12-yard scoring pass from Ayers and sophomore Matthew Bahn scoring on runs of 22 yards and 4 yards. Bahn rushed six times for 55 yards and two scores.
“We are blessed to have a group of guys that can tote the rock.,” Warriors head coach Jason Jarrett said. “And not one of them a senior, so I feel fortunate in that regard. We had a slow start tonight and that has been an issue with us that we have to get fixed. We committed a lot of penalties and we have to clean that up as well.”