Patriots Fall to Hawks In Hard Battle

Friday night brought football back in to Dumplin Valley as the Jefferson County Patriots hosted the Hardin Valley Hawks.

The Jefferson County Patriots, coming off an impressive win against the William Blount Governors, were poised to improve their numbers for the season against the Hawks.  Hardin Valley, coming off a 51-10 win against the Morristown West Trojans.  The battlefield was set at Leroy Shannon field, and the Patriots were poised to bring the fight.

Staff Photo by Angie Stanley

Staff Photo by Angie Stanley

Jefferson County didn’t take long to show the Hawks they were not playing around.  The improvement in the offensive line in recent weeks took Hardin Valley by surprise.  For the first quarter, Hardin Valley struggled to penetrate the Patriot defense.  It would not take long for the Patriot offense to set up Kris Hawkins for his first touchdown of the evening.  The successful extra point from Alvarez quickly put Jefferson County in the lead, halfway through the first quarter.   The Hawks, in their first attempt to answer, were unsuccessful and the ball ended up in the hands of Bradee McCoy.  Unfortunately the Patriots couldn’t make good on their threats, and the first quarter ended with the Patriots up by 7.

The second quarter started with the Hawks regaining the ball.  A three minute drive by Hardin Valley showed the Patriots that the Hawks meant business as Grayson Vaughn connected with Cam York for a 13 yard pass in to the endzone.  The good extra point tied up the game 7-7.  After the kickoff to return the ball back to the Patriots, a drive up the center provided a short gain.  The Hawks would quickly realize the power of a Kris Hawkins drive.  In a quick move, Hawkins ran up the side for almost 60 yards, and introduced himself to the endzone for the second time.  Alvarez was once again successful, and the Patriots were up 14-7.

The rest of the half looked like it was going to be a battle of the defenses.  Both sides of the ball were hard to move, until a breakaway by Hawkins.  With just over a minute left in the half, Kris Hawkins scored his third touchdown for the evening.  Ronnie Alvarez upheld his end of the bargain, and the Patriots were ahead of the Hawks 21-7 going in to the halftime break, but there were still 24 minutes of football to play.

The first seven minutes of the second half looked much like the first half.  For both teams, they came out ready for a fight, but it would seem that the force that was Grayson Vaughn finally found his footing.  In a quick keeper, Vaughn would introduce himself to the endzone for the first time of the evening.   Just two minutes of play later, the Hawks would tie up the game.  Vaughn flung the ball 28 yards to Campbell, and before the Patriots could blink, there was once a tied game in Dumplin Valley.  The third quarter ended with a score of 21-21.

JCHS Football Vs Hardin Valley 092818 2

To begin the fourth quarter, Hardin Valley couldn’t get through the Patriot defense, but was within field goal range.   The attempt was no good, and Jefferson County would regain possession of the ball deep in their own territory.  Tanner Atkins showed the hawks that the Patriots were not done with them just yet.  Atkins handed the ball over to his favorite target for the evening, and Kris Hawkins grinded for 19 yard to make his fourth touchdown for the night.  Once again Alvarez got the extra point, and the Patriots were up 28-21.

The Hawks were out to prove they were not finished, either.

The Vaughn – Campbell connection struck again with five minutes left in the game, a good extra point tied the game up once again 28-28.  It wouldn’t take long for Jefferson County to answer the score.  In the next drive, a 50 yard breakaway by Hawkins, who gained his fifth touchdown of the night, the Patriots pulled ahead once again 35-28.

And the battle continued.

Vaughn found another target this time, in the form of Noah Moro.  A 20 yard fling put the Hawks back in to the endzone, and the game was tied 35-35, with just under three minutes left in the game.  The Patriots struggled to move the ball, and the Hawks got the turnover on downs.   The battle worn Patriots tried to hold the Hawks, managing to hold them back to the 20.  The Hawks, hoping to avoid an overtime scenario, elected to go for the field goal on the second down.  With just 2.8 seconds left in the game, Hawks kicker, Lambert, nailed a field goal.  The Patriots fall in a heartbreaker, 38-35.

The Patriots Kris Hawkins added over 330 yards to his numbers.  Hawkins is now up to 1,471 yards for the season.

Jefferson County is now gearing up to travel to Morristown West High School to square off against the Trojans.  The last time the two teams met, the Trojans defeated the Patriots 28-6.  Recently, though, Hardin Valley defeated the Trojans 51-10, so this matchup could be anyone’s guess.  Kickoff is set for 7:30.

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