Hawthorne football coach Cornelius Ingram holds the Class 1A runner-up trophy following a 27-14 loss to Baker at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee. Special To The Sun - John Patton

Hawthorne Football Team Comes Up Short in State Title Bid

The Hawthorne Hornets (10-3) came up short in trying to win its first football state title in school history Thursday night.

The Baker Gators (14-0) defeated the Hornets 27-14 in the FHSAA Class 1A state championship game at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee on Thursday night.

Hawthorne impressive passing attack

Hawthorne couldn’t gain much traction running the ball as the Gators held them to minus-two yards rushing. But the team was able to rely heavily on their passing game.

The Hornets set the tone in the game early by scoring on its opening drive. Junior quarterback Chaz Mackey connected on a 67-yard throw to sophomore wide receiver Terrell James to give the Hornets an 8-0 lead after a successful two point conversion. 

Mackey threw for 219 yards on 20 out of 29 passing attempts and threw two touchdowns. He was able to get most of his wide receivers involved throughout the game.

Hornets junior wideout Anthony Morgan had five catches for 61 yards. Junior Camren Cohens had eight catches for 53 yards and one touchdown, and Terrell James had four catches for 88 yards and one touchdown.

Hornets offense miscues

Despite the Hornets having an impressive passing game, the offense had a few turnovers that significantly impacted the game.  The Hornets had a total of four turnovers in the game and Baker took advantage as they scored 20 points off of Hawthorne’s unfortunate mistakes. And the Gator defense was able to sack Mackey five times.

Hawthorne head coach Cornelius Ingram spoke on the loss.

“We shot ourselves in the foot,” Ingram said. “That’s a great team we played, and we couldn’t hurt ourselves if we were going to win.”

Baker dominates in run game

The Gators weren’t able to develop much of a passing game as senior quarterback Brody Sharpe only threw for 32 yards on 4 out of 5 attempts for one touchdown to junior kicker Ethan Edge. But they ultimately made up for it on the ground using their running back duo in Kayleb Wagner and Joesph Brunson.

Baker sophomore running back Kayleb Wagner rushed for 152 yards and scored one touchdown for eight yards in the fourth quarter to extend the lead to 27-8. Wagner had an impressive game, averaging 12.7 yards per carry on 12 carries, with his longest rush being 67 yards.

Senior running back Joseph Brunson didn’t have a big night on the ground as the Hornets defense held him to 49 yards on 20 carries but he did score Baker’s first touchdown of the night.

The Gators were able to rush for 277 yards, tiring out the Hornets defense. They had a total time possession of 30:57. Baker scored a total of three touchdowns, which helped them seal the victory.


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