Wk 1 RNK 2021 Hidden Valley vs Cave Spring Game ‘Bonus Game’

Wk 1 RNK 2021 Hidden Valley vs Cave Spring Game ‘Bonus Game’ 574 384 SWVA High School Sports

Hidden Valley holds on to oust Cave Spring in season opening rivalry game

Dwight Bogle stadium, Roanoke, VA – In a thrilling rivalry game under the setting sun, the Hidden Valley Titans reclaimed the “Titan-Knight” trophy from the Cave Spring Knights behind outstanding performances from senior QB 16 Sam Dragovich and senior WR 1 Braxton Dunnings. QB 16 Dragovich logged 291 passing yards throughout the night with WR 1, Dunnings pulling in four receptions for 180 yards, two of which resulting in 70-yard touchdowns.
The Cave spring Knights had a quiet first half but proved that they really do have “knightvision”, coming up with two touchdowns of their own in the second half after the sun went down. Despite the Knight’s high-powered run game led by junior RB 7 Landon Altizer, senior QB 12 Skylor Griffiths, and sophomore RB 31 Camerohn Parker, who together wracked up 234 rushing yards, It wasn’t the Knight’s night. A combination of a missed extra point, inopportune penalties, and a costly fumble during a the critical two-point conversion at the end of the game prevented an overtime showdown, affording the Titan’s 14-12 victory.
It was a unique night for a few reasons, first, it was Cave Spring head coach, Nick Leftwich’s, first game in the Roanoke Valley, “It was a great atmosphere tonight and we didn’t give up, our guys had fight and we had effort, it was just the little things like penalties that got in the way tonight.” Coach Leftwich was proud of his team’s performance in a game that’s normally played late in the season, “I think it’s great to have as the first game of the year,” Leftwich said, “everyone is 0-0 meaning

some teams will come out 1-0and that gets the crowd even more involved.” Speaking of the crowd, the stands were packed with toga clad Hidden Valley fans and Cave Spring fans sporting light-up gear along with their families and friends. It was the first “normal” high school football game since 2019. Hopefully, the

first of many for this 2021 season.
Hidden Valley’s Coach Scott Weaver was also proud of his squad and is excited about the Titan’s future, “We competed tonight, as a coach that’s about all you can ask for… but you may not know this, we are so young. Four out of our five lineman can’t even get their learners (drivers permit) yet. We’ve got a lot of potential.”
Next week, the Knights will take on the Northside Vikings (0-1) and the Titans will battle the William Byrd Terriers (0-1).

First Quarter –
The Titans received the kickoff and started the evening off with a bang. The first set play of the game resulted in a 42-yard pass from QB 16 Dragovich to junior WR 20 Joey Strong. The Knight’s defense quickly put an end to a promising first drive, stopping Hidden Valley on fourth down after two incomplete passes and a Titan penalty. The Knights countered with a nice drive of their own, advancing the ball from their twenty-nine to the Titan’s twenty-one, picking up four first downs along the way. One of which, came from an impressive 26-yard carry from RB 7 Altizer, negating a costly penalty from the previous play. After coming up two yards short on 4th down, the first quarter ended, and the ball returned to the Titans for the beginning of the second quarter.

Second Quarter-
Hidden Valley started the second quarter by going 3 and out, punting, and leaving the Knights with possession on their 38-yard line. On a pass targeted to senior WR 4 Josh Woolfolk the Titan defense overcommitted resulting in a pass interference penalty. That gave Cave Spring their only first down of the second the quarter. After a failed 4th down try, the Titans regained control at their thirty-nine.

Hidden Valley WR 1 Braxton catches the first of two TDs

The big play would happen on second down after QB 16 Dragovich pump faked the Cave Spring defense to find WR 1 Dunnings wide open down the middle with no obstacles between him and the end zone. After the 72-yard reception the extra point was punched through by junior K 8 Brodie Layman to put the Titans up 7-0. After a decent kick return from RB 7 Altizer, the Knights couldn’t seem to get their footing and with a costly penalty on third down, were forced to punt the football away, giving the Titans fantastic position around mid-field. Hidden Valley chose to keep the ball in the air with QB 16 Dragovich attempting nine passes throughout the drive that resulted in three Titan first downs. Hidden Valley nearly score again from a four-yard pass from QB 16 Dragovich to WR 20 Strong, but the touchdown would be called off after a Titan penalty. The very next play, the Cave Spring defense would force a Titan fumble and recover it, ending the second quarter and squashing Hidden Valley’s hopes of a score halftime lead. The Titans led 7-0.

Cave Spring RB 7 Landon Altzier draws the Knights closer with rushing TD

Third Quarter –
Cave Spring started the third quarter with a promising drive picking up three first downs after strong running from QB 12 Griffiths and RB 31 Parker. However, they would be stopped short when the Titan defense came up with a critical third down sack for a loss, forcing the Knights to punt. The Titans would start nowhere near midfield this time, instead they’d begin this drive from their own 15-yard line. To make matters worse for Hidden Valley, on the first play of the drive, QB 16 Dragovich’s pass was deflected back into his hands, effectively passing the ball to himself, causing a penalty which he then tried to then pass to WR 1 Dunnings. With the Titan’s inside their ten-yard line, The Knights defense capitalized on Hidden Valley’s poor field position by forcing them to punt the ball away. After a seemingly costly Cave Spring penalty, pushing the Knight’s back to the Titan’s 40-yard line, Cave Spring and RB 7 Altizer took little time respond. On the first play of the drive, the Junior broke away for a 40-yard touchdown run putting the Knight’s on the board 7-6.

Hidden Valley fans support their team with Fat Heads (Ashton Carroll)

Unfortunately for the Knight’s nothing is a given. After being heavily pressured by the Titan’s special teams, the Knights kicker missed the extra point right by mere inches, leaving Cave Spring down by one point. After a sketchy kickoff where the Knights almost recovered a bobbled Titan catch, Hidden Valley would immediately fumble the ball again on the next play, barely retaining possession, but still losing 12 yards. The damage from the fumble, proved too great and the Titans were forced to punt the football away. Cave Spring couldn’t get it going this time, after two incomplete passes and one penalty the home team was also forced to punt. The Titan’s would take possession at their 29-yard line, and just like their rivals last scoring drive, would also waste no time. On the first play QB 16 Dragovich again connected with WR 1 Dunnings for another 70-yard touchdown reception. K 8 Layman extra point was good, putting the Titans up 14-6 as the third quarter ended.

Fourth quarter –
After a nice first down run from QB 12 Griffiths and a costly penalty, the Knights began subbing in senior QB 11 Bryce Cooper who completed a quick 12-yard pass to Junior TE 81 Ayden Babich. It wasn’t enough for a first down, leaving Cave Spring no choice but to punt. The Titans could barely get off the ground this time. Their drive consisted of two incomplete passes and a penalty, sending the football back into the hands of the Knights at their 31-yardline. It looked like the play of the game when Cave Spring QB 12 Griffiths ran the better part of 70 yards for a huge, potential game-tying touchdown, however, due to a penalty the touchdown was negated and the ball was brought back to the Titan twenty-five. The Knights didn’t give in, and a few plays and a Titan penalty later, reached the end zone with a strong dive from QB 11 Cooper. That tightened the margin to 14-12. Unfortunately for Cave Spring, the two-point conversion didn’t go as well as the drive. The play was out of sync from the start and the Knights didn’t get comfortable before the all important attempt at a tying two point conversion. The result was a bobbled snap, and the play couldn’t be saved, leaving the Knights down by two. Hidden Valley retained possession for the remainder of the game, sealing the deal with a 12-yard reception to WR 20 Strong. Titan QB 16 Dragovich took a knee as the clock (which was off the whole game due technical issues) assumedly hit zero. Final score Hidden Valley 14 Cave Spring 12.       – Graham Whitaker

Hidden Valley celebrates getting the Hidden Valley-Cave Spring series trophy back in their possession

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