Hidden Valley had a disastrous start to its game on Friday night at William Byrd.
After just one play from scrimmage, the Titans found themselves trailing by a touchdown.
However, they went the next 47-plus minutes without allowing a score as Hidden Valley beat the Terriers, 22-7 in a nondistrict football game, to improve to 2-0 .
“You really can’t start a game worst than the way we started it,” said Hidden Valley coach Scott Weaver. “I thought our kids responded well the whole way on both sides of the ball.”
Byrd held a 7-0 lead after Elijah West scooped up a fumble and ran it 30 yards to score on the first play following the opening kick. Hidden Valley’s offense settled in from that point and took the lead later in the first quarter after a 14-play, 80-yard drive culminated in a 1-yard touchdown plunge by Jovan Wilson. Following an offside call against the Terriers, Matt Strong converted a two-point conversion with a rush up the middle to give the Titans the lead for good.
William Byrd was arguably its own worst enemy on a night in which it committed 15 penalties for a total of 96 yards. That included a sloppy first quarter that saw eight flags against the Terriers for 46 yards.
“We made way too many mistakes,” said William Byrd coach Brad Lutz. “Mental mistakes, physical mistakes. Those are things we’ll have to watch this week, get better, watch film and get these guys ready for next week.”
In the second quarter, a 19-yard strike from Hidden Valley quarterback Grayson Carroll to Tyler McDaniel expanded the lead to 15-7. Carroll finished the day 14 for 19 with 134 yards and a touchdown.
But the story was the Hidden Valley defense — a group that forced a total of five turnovers, including three interceptions, two by Strong.
The Titans gave themselves more breathing room in the third quarter when Byrd was backed up against its own end zone. Hidden Valley’s front seven broke into the backfield and forced a fumble that was scooped up by Ashton Carroll, pushing the lead to two touchdowns.
“I thought [the defense] stepped up tonight when we needed them to,” said Weaver. “When we had to make a play, we did.”
Hidden Valley will take its unbeaten record home next Friday to take on Northside, while Byrd (1-1) looks for a bounce back on the road at Bassett.
“We just want each week to play as good as we can,” said Weaver. “Each step that we take, we’re not reaching a goal, it’s just letting us see what our end goal can be a little clearer. We’re taking positive steps and we need to keep doing that week-by-week.”
Said Lutz: “They’re a good football team. They played well in all three phases of the game. We’ll be better next week but you’ve got to tip your cap to them, they played well.”