HANAHAN — In its Region 8-AAA opener one week ago, Hanahan trailed 15-0 before rallying for a 28-21 victory at previously undefeated Orangeburg-Wilkinson.
A comeback wasn’t necessary Friday night at Wiley Knight Stadium, as the Hawks scored early and often en route to a 36-0 shutout victory over Berkeley.
Hanahan senior QB Mason Schwerzler threw for 171 yards and three touchdowns in the first quarter, which included a pair of 49-yard TD passes — to Terrell Green and Sam Denmark — within four minutes of the opening kickoff.
Shortly thereafter, Quan Wade hit paydirt from 10 yards out before Denmark caught a 69-yard toss from Schwerzler to close out the first-quarter scoring.
The importance of getting off to a strong start was evident in Hawks coach Charlie Patterson’s decision to call an onside kick less than three minutes into the game. The unsuspecting Stags were unable to cope, and the kick was recovered by Hanahan, which led to Denmark’s first touchdown three plays later.
“We emphasized coming out and being ready from the get-go, and playing with emotion,” Patterson said. “It felt like last week we were kind of a little flat at the start, (and) maybe a little complacent.
“We won the toss and normally we defer,” Patterson added. “We decided to take the ball, and (the onside kick) was our plan all along. If we took it down and scored, we were going to do that and try to get the momentum.”
Berkeley (3-4, 1-1), coming off a 40-14 win over James Island, threatened the Hawks’ end zone early in the second quarter. But Vance Bailey missed a 27-yard field goal attempt in what was the Stags’ only significant scoring opportunity of the half.
Hanahan (7-0, 2-0) used a safety — forced by Dominique Green — and Schwerzler’s fourth touchdown pass — a 10-yarder to Terrell Green — to build a 36-0 advantage at halftime.
Berkeley’s Joseph Dress replaced Matthew Harkness at quarterback to start the second half, but the Stags’ promising drive stalled in the red zone after an interception by Hanahan DB Deandrea Thompson.
Neither team added any points to the scoreboard in the second half. After amassing 282 yards of offense in the opening two quarters, the Hawks added just 75 yards during the rest of the contest. Berkeley recorded 285 total yards (149 rushing, 136 passing).
“We just got beat by a better team,” said Berkeley coach Jeff Cruce, who won 10 straight region championships in 13 years at the helm of Hanahan from 1995-2007. “I thought we were better prepared.
“I’m happy for Hanahan,” Cruce said. “I’m glad they’re having success. Obviously I’m not real happy it’s against us. But they’re just a better football team. They’re the cream of our region right now, and we’re about a mid-range region team.”
Berkeley 0 0 0 0 – 0
Hanahan 27 9 0 0 – 36
H – Mason Schwerzler 49 pass to Terrell Green (Kyle Spigner kick)
H – Schwerzler 49 pass to Sam Denmark (Spigner kick)
H – Quan Wade 10 run (Spigner kick)
H – Schwerzler 69 pass to Denmark (Spigner kick failed)
H - Safety
H – Schwerzler 10 pass to Green (Spigner kick)