ELIZABETHTON — Happy Valley had a happy homecoming as a milestone was reached in a 51-8 victory over Sullivan North on Friday night.
Happy Valley’s Matthew Bahn eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark for the season as the senior running back covered 117 yards on 14 carries in the opening half.
Bahn now has 1,040 rushing yards. He has 17 rushing touchdowns after scampering for scores of 1, 6 and 20 yards against the Golden Raiders. Furthermore, he hauled in a 10-yard TD reception in the opening quarter.
“He’s a special player,” Happy Valley coach Jason Jarrett said of Bahn. “He had only played 51/2 games this season. He’s a special back, he has great skills, speed, size, balance, vision.
“He has all the tools needed, but he’s the first one to tell you that the guys up front have done a really good job of opening up holes for him.”
Happy Valley did not wait long to score as it took two plays to reach the end zone. Eli Ayers gave Andrew Little a 49-yard shovel pass that led to the game’s first score. Ayers finished 5-for-7 for 109 yards and two touchdowns. Little also intercepted two passes.
“We were focused and that was the big key to get this conference win,” Jarrett said. “We know we are trying to play for a home playoff game and we had to take care of business tonight. I was really proud of the focus and energy that our guys came out and played with.”
Little picked off a Bryant Herron pass and ran it back 35 yards for the Warriors’ third score. That was one of six turnovers Happy Valley grabbed from Sullivan North.
Gabe Nickles rushed in an 8-yard score toward the end of the first half.
The last time the Warriors surpassed the 50-point mark was in 2017 when Happy Valley bested Cosby 61-0, 36 games ago.
Sullivan North reached paydirt for the fourth time this season with 2:43 left in the contest as Chase Gill raced in from 17 yards out. The Golden Raiders covered 117 yards on the night.
The Warriors improved to 5-2 overall and 2-1 in Region 1-2A, which secures at least a third-place finish. Happy Valley has an off week before a key contest with South Greene atop Warrior Hill.
A Warrior win would force a three-way tie for the league championship if Hampton beats Cosby while a Happy Valley win and Cosby win over Hampton would give the Warriors the top seed. A South Greene win against the Warriors, after Friday’s 35-31 win over Hampton, would give the Rebels an outright title.
Sullivan North slipped to 0-6 with an 0-3 league mark before a contest with Sullivan East.