On a chilly autumn Friday night at Benny Compton Field, Sullivan North found a way to overcome three second-half lost fumbles and beat Region 1-2A rival Happy Valley 24-14.
The Warriors (6-2, 2-1) committed four turnovers themselves — one a fumble that ended a promising drive inside North’s red zone and another fumble that came inside their own red zone.
“We had way too many missed opportunities and it finally caught up to us,” Happy Valley coach Jason Jarrett said. “We’ve had missed opportunities all year and we’ve found ways to win. That wasn’t going to happen tonight and hats off to Sullivan North.”
Seniors Yancy Dolen and Dale Potter carried the load for the Golden Raiders (5-3, 2-2). Dolen scored two touchdowns, including a 40-yarder near the end of the game that sealed the deal. He finished with 10 carries and 129 yards. Potter had one touchdown and scored all three of North’s 2-point conversions. He finished with 101 rushing yards on 18 carries.
North attempted just three passes and didn’t complete a one. All 268 yards of offense came on the ground via seven players.
“Our kids showed a lot of heart and a lot of fight,” North coach Preston Patrick said. “Usually, against a team that good, you don’t get by with that many mistakes. Fortunately, they had some, too. Our kids showed a lot of grit and I was proud of them for that, too.”
The Warriors’ Jordan Campbell scored the first touchdown of the game on a 1-yard run. Happy Valley’s other score came in the third quarter when Eli Ayers found Ty Pierce in the end zone on a 12-yard crossing pattern.
The Warriors’ last gasp came with a failed fourth-down conversion at the North 42-yard line with a little more than six minutes left. Ayers dropped back to pass but was swarmed by Golden Raiders, and North senior linebacker Dustin Phillips brought him down 11 yards behind the line of scrimmage.
Happy Valley’s Timmy Mounts recovered two North fumbles.
The Warriors return to action next week at home against Trinity Academy. Sullivan North travels to Bluff City to take on Sullivan East.