Senior Hawks bypass the bye with exhibition contest

By Terrance Gavan
When you’re on a roll, it’s wise not to mess with the chemistry.
   And so the senior Red Hawks football team – already 4-0 on the season – went looking for and eventually found a team to play last Friday.
   The regular season schedule called for a game versus St. Mary’s, but their senior program fell into the dumper after the first game of the season.
   Enter Adam Scott High, invited last Friday to participate in a friendly exhibition game.
   Or at least as friendly as it gets on the gridiron.
   The Lions ended up winning the game 14-7 at Gary Brohman Field.
   Hawk coaches Derek Little and Tim Davies set up the exhibition with the caveat that they would play Scott straight up in the first half, but pull some starters in the final 24 minutes.
   Both coaching staffs were aware that the first place Hawks would be using the final half to allow some of their second team players to get some much deserved and valuable playing time.
   Both teams played hard, but the coaching staffs on both sidelines were also aware that this was a “friendly” and it was a game played in the best tradition of fairness and good conduct.
   The first half ended in a 7-7 tie, and the Hawks went with backup quarterback Damon Flatman and running back Greg Baumgartner – in place of starting pivot Scot Griffith and stellar tail back Tyler Wood – for the duration of the last half..
   Griffith connected on a beautifully crafted touchdown pass to wide-out Luke Watson in the second quarter. Jesse Lefebvre connected on the convert to tie the score at seven.
   Adam Scott scored earlier in the first quarter on a quick hitting off tackle running play.
   All the scoring in that first half was done with the wind – a foul, cold, gusting  and disgusting rumbler, blowing in from the vicinity of Siberia – or Head Lake.
   The wind would play a big factor in the second half as well.
   Adam Scott scored with the wind just five minutes into the third quarter and from that point onward both defenses dominated the discussion.
   Flatman struggled in the third, but the Hawks did start to rally during the fourth quarter with the wind at their backs.
   On the last play of the game Flatman aired out a bomb on a rope caught by Watson deep downfield.
   Watson could not elude a phalanx of Lions’ defenders who were playing zone prevent with twin safeties and three defensive backs and linebackers dropping back in the mix.
   It was said Coach Little, just what the doctor ordered.
   “The goal was to get our second string – both offense and defense – some reps and we did that,” said Little. “Now we’ve got some players that can come in with more confidence if we happen to need them in the final two games and the playoffs.”
   He said that they also had an opportunity to videotape the game, which will give the coaching staff and the players a chance to review some of the offensive and defensive sets as the unbeaten Hawks prepare for the post season.
   “With the post season picture in front of us, it’s important that these guys start to see some things on video,” said Little. “Look we can talk till we’re blue in the face but unless they see it it maybe doesn’t mean as much to the players.
   “We had a video session of last week’s game (a 20-14 squeaker versus Holy Cross) and they were shocked at some of the stuff they saw on the field.”
   And Little said the video is there to keep the Hawk’s heads firmly on square shoulders.
   He says it’s omportant for the team to realize that there is vast room for improvement.
   “Because we’re not, on video, a 3-0 or a 4-0 team,” said Little. “There’s still a lot of things we have to work on.”
   Little said that in terms of points for and against in the three league games – 101-14 – the team looks unstoppable.
   But the Hawks did in fact stall against Holy Cross during the second half in their last league tilt and Little says that the defense is in fact controlling team fortunes so far.
   “We’re not adding anything new from here on in,” said Little. “We’re going to tweak and just try to get better as we’re heading to the playoffs.”
   The Hawks are in Norwood today and at Thomas A Stewart next Tuesday (Oct 26).
   Playoffs begin on Tuesday, Nov. 2.