Sad ending in Happy Valley

The Oneida Indians traveled to Happy Valley for the first round of the playoffs on Friday, November 3 and suffered a 22-0 season-ending loss to the Warriors.

“They’re (Happy Valley) just stingy on defense,” Oneida coach Tony Lambert said. “They are probably the no. 1 defense in 2A. I would say they give up less points than anybody in the state. That’s the first shutout we’ve had in I couldn’t tell you how long.”

Things went down hill early for the Indians as Happy Valley blocked a punt attempt and returned it for a touchdown with just over two minutes gone off the clock. They also added the twopoint conversion to take an 8-0 lead.

The Warriors extended their lead in the second quarter after another fumble by the Indians. The two-point conversion gave Happy Valley a 16-0 cushion.

The Indians finished with three turnovers on the night.

“I thought our kids played really hard on defense tonight considering all of the turnovers and everything,” Lambert said. “You have to take care of the football obviously. There is no doubt about that.”

Johnny Manis led the Indians with 52 yards on 12 carries, while Bryson Buttram had 26 yards on three carries and Evan Roberts finished with 26 yards on 10 carries. The Indians rushed the ball 34 times for 112 yards.

The Warriors rushed for 208 yards on 42 carries and finished with 257 total yards of offense.

Lambert noted after the game that he has a lot of re-evaluating to do.

“I’ve got to re-evaluate what I’m going to do,” he said. “I don’t know what my status is. This is uncharted territory for us. I’ve got to look at us and see what I can do to make this thing better or if I can even make it better.”