For only the second year ever, the Hawthorne Hornets won a playoff game.
All Tied Up
At the first Hawthorne possession, offense took the lead. After almost five minutes of playing, Key’Shaun Williams for the Hornets ran in the first touchdown of the evening. However, this was immediately followed by a 30-yard touchdown pass; Oscene “Nate” Mikell found Marcus Niblack on the 5-yard line, ending the quarter 7-7.
Run Game On
Hawthorne adopted a predominately run-based offense for the rest of the half. Williams proceeded to punch in another touchdown with 8:30 left in the half. The Wildcats were unable to put any more points on the board in the second, while the Hornets brought in another touchdown and a field goal. “We started with the run, but then the passing lanes got open,” Williams said. “So it got easier for us to run better because they thought we were going to pass more.”
A bubble screen by Hawthorne offense gave Dre Lawrence the room to bring in a 25-yard touchdown. Then, on the next Hawthorne possession, Tyler Barbato kicked in a 47-yard field goal that ended the half. Hawthorne still leading 24-7.
— Chase Anschultz (@ChaseAnschultz) November 9, 2019
Throughout the first half, Hawthorne’s defense struggled with completing interceptions. With over three missed turnover opportunities in the first half, the Hornets’ coaching staff pushed for a more aggressive-to-the-ball defense. “They told us going into halftime that we start off really slow,” Williams said. “They said that if we start off faster, it will be much easier for us to stop them.”
During the third quarter, the Hornets jumped on a fumbled ball from the Wildcats’ quarterback. Hawthorne also fumbled themselves within a few plays of their recovery and lost possession. Then in the fourth, Hawthorne’s safety intercepted a throw from Mikell down-field.
Ending the third quarter, the Wildcats only put up one more touchdown and had their extra point blocked. 24-13 going into the final 12 minutes of the game.
Four seconds into the fourth quarter, Williams ran in his third touchdown for the Hornets of the night. After several back and forth possessions from the teams, Tremon Starke drives in the final Hawthorne touchdown of the night with 4:13 remaining.
With only 2:24 left in the first round of playoffs, T.J. Snowden for Wildwood, brings in the final touchdown of the evening. This, however, was still not enough to catch up to Hawthorne and the game ended 37 Hornets, 21 Wildcats.
A Look Into Next Week
Friday, November 15, the Hawthorne team will be taking a four-hour drive to Pahokee High School. In this second round on their playoff journey, the Hornets hope to regain the skill of Jeremiah James, who has been out all season due to a torn ACL.
The team is still waiting on clearance from James’ doctor and the team’s trainer, but they have high hopes for his return in time for the senior’s final chance at a high school playoff game. “He has to get cleared,” Coach Ingram assured. “But he looks great outside of pads. He is one of those guys that you have to say ‘sit down, don’t touch a football’ to; when he’s out here himself he’ll do some route running and latter drills. He is a great player and he wants to be out there with the guys.”
Written By: Rylee McIver
Interviews By: Chase Anschultz and Rylee McIver
Photos and Videos By: Rylee McIver