Hot Halls hammers Hardin Valley, 31-0

By Steve Williams

In the Battle of the “H” Friday night, Halls halted Hardin Valley 31-0. In fact, the showdown of two 3-0 teams turned into a lower case.

Sophomore quarterback Amari Lethgo threw three touchdown passes and the Red Devils’ defense contributed several big plays to keep the hosts happy at Dink Adams Field.

“We played really good defense and caused turnovers,” said Halls Coach Brent Hughes. “Then offensively, we made plays when we needed to make plays.

“There’s a lot of things we can clean up especially on offense, but our defense man – We were the more physical team and our kids played hard and I couldn’t be more proud of them.”

Lethgo and his receivers sparkled in the pass game. Lethgo completed 20 of 26 passes for 270 yards and no picks. On the receiving end, Landon Vest caught seven passes for 100 yards, Tres Scates six for 81 and Drew Ross four for 71 to lead the way.

Hardin Valley hung close for a half and trailed by only 10-0 at intermission, but Lethgo, a 5-11, 165-pounder who doesn’t play like a sophomore, connected with Kameron Bates on fourth-and-goal at the 3 late in the third quarter.

Linebacker Dom Culp, another Halls sophomore, took over after that as he recovered a fumble on the Hawks’ next possession. And then he stripped the ball away from running back Brady Hogrefe early in the fourth quarter and raced 23 yards to score and make it 24-0.

Hardin Valley went three-and-out and Halls tacked on seven more points when Lethgo and Ross, a junior tight end, connected for a 41-yard gain followed by a 12-yard TD pass with 6:48 to go.

Down 31-0, HVA running back McKayle Hayes had a 13-yard gain – the first time the Hawks had moved the chains since the first quarter. But two plays later, Halls’ Hunter Brefini recovered a Hardin Valley fumble.

“Physically, Halls beat us tonight,” said second-year HVA head coach Jeff Miner, who had gotten the Hawks off to a “historic start” this year. “Things went well at the start and then we had some adversity. It was really the first adversity we’ve had this season. We didn’t respond the way that we needed to. And besides that, if it could go wrong tonight, it did. Once it got bad, it snowballed and got worse. We’ve got to learn from it, put it behind us and move on to next week.”

Hardin Valley threatened in the first quarter, but on fourth-and-four at the 12, Caleb Standifer completed a pass but sophomore DB Gabe Holmes quickly stopped the receiver short of the line to gain.

HVA had good field position again in the second quarter, but Bates recovered a Hawk fumble at the Halls 43. The Red Devils turned their possession into the game’s first touchdown when Scates caught Lethgo’s 28-yard pass on a ricochet.

Owen Taylor kicked the first of four PATs. He added a 34-yard field on the last play of the first half.

Halls had possession of the ball for over 17 minutes in the first half.

The Devils’ Noah Burgin sacked Standifer for a 7-yard loss to start the second half. Ross recovered a HVA fumble on second down in Hawks’ next possession. Culp pounced on a fumble on third down of Hardin Valley’s third possession.

The snowball just got bigger and bigger.