Head Coach Cornelius Ingram looks on during his team's win over Chiefland in Round 1 of the Class 1A playoffs (Photo Credit: Keishla Espinal/ESPN Gainesville).

Hawthorne Hornets on Their Way to Third Straight State Title

Following a convincing 28-0 win on Friday night, the Hawthorne Hornets are making their third consecutive trip to the state title.

The Hornets are set to face 13-0 Northview, that beat Union 21-11 to advance to the Class 1R state championship.

Team Effort

Cornelius Ingram, former Florida Gator and NFL tight end, is the head coach and leader of the Hawthorne Hornets.

With question marks surrounding where its last game would be played, Hawthorne’s coach said they would be ready anywhere. Hawthorne has dominated in all aspects of the game all season. With an 11-0 record, the Hornets have had a perfect route to the state final.

Hawthorne’s defense has been a staple in its success all season, allowing just 104 yards of total offense last week in the victory against Blountstown, along with two interceptions, two sacks and eight tackles for loss. The Hornets’ defense has forced a turnover in every game this season.

Injury Bug

While the Hornet’s have stung their opponents all season, this one stings for them.

Two leaders, both on the offensive and defensive sides of the ball, status is up in the air for the state championship game. Sophomore quarterback CJ Ingram had to leave the game against Blountstown early due to an ankle injury that put him in a boot.

Additionally, Hawthorne may be missing its defensive center piece, senior defensive end Jailen Ruth. Ruth has accounted for 26 tackles for a loss, 18 sacks, seven forced fumbles and two interceptions this season. He was not present at Tuesday’s practice.

If the two are not able to suit up, it would be a vital blow on both the offensive and defensive ends for the Hornets

Hornets History

Hawthorne will be attending its third straight state championship game, although it has still yet to win one in the school’s history.

The Hornets and Ingram will have the chance to make history this Friday in Tallahassee against the Northview Chiefs.

About Kyle Curtis

A third-year journalism student with a focus in sports and media.

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