ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. — The 2019 season opener didn’t turn out the way the Cloudland football program wanted, as the ‘Landers dropped a 19-6 decision to Happy Valley on Aug. 23, on Warrior Hill in Elizabethton.
It was a defensive battle from the get-go.
The teams traded possessions in the opening minutes as neither team was able to get anything going. Happy Valley, however, got on the board in the final minute of the first quarter as Blake Young caught a Noah Stevens pass for a 60-yard touchdown.
In the second quarter, Cloudland saw the offense get clicking.
The ‘Landers marched into HV territory with strong runs from Triston Lacey and Conner Birchfield. Cloudland saw the drive end on fourth down inside the HV 5-yard line.
The ‘Lander defense forced a quick Warrior punt on the ensuing drive, but the half ended with an interception in the end zone.
Defense continued to be the story for most of the second half.
Cloudland saw a scoring opportunity come up empty late in the quarter. However, a pair of penalties stalled the drive as CHS entered the final quarter trailing.
The Warriors broke back onto the board with just more than five minutes left to play as Matthew Bahn scored on a 15-yard run. Happy Valley recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff, and took advantage with a three-play scoring drive with a short touchdown pass.
The Cloudland offense got things going again as Lacey and Birchfield had a pair of long runs, and Lacey put CHS on the scoreboard with a 2-yard touchdown run. However, Cloudland was unable to continue the comeback.
Lacey paced the CHS offensive attack as he had 11 carries for 82 yards, while Birchfield added 68 yards on 20 carries. Quarterback Hunter Shell finished the game 5-of-10 passing for 38 yards.
Seth Birchfield had four catches for 27 yards receiving.
The ‘Landers open the home slate on Aug. 30, as South Greene visits Orr Field.