HANAHAN — “One down, four to go.”
That was Hanahan coach Charlie Patterson’s post-game message after his squad’s 49-14 opening-round playoff victory over visiting Gilbert on Friday night.
It’s a statement that is indicative of the Hawks’ goal of a Class AAA state title after 28 years in Class AA.
“Our goal was to win every game and win the state championship,” Patterson said. “We won the region. We didn’t win every game, but we’ve still got one goal left that we can make.”
Octavius Hayes led Hanahan’s attack against the Indians with five touchdowns and 201 yards rushing. The senior now has 17 scores this season.
On Gilbert’s first play from scrimmage, the Hawks’ Dante Richardson recovered a fumble and was tackled 15 yards from the end zone. Four snaps later, quarterback Anthony Smalls hit Mario Gates for a 12-yard TD pass.
Hayes powered into the end zone twice before halftime — from 21 and 2 yards — as Hanahan led, 21-7, entering the third quarter.
The Hawks were plagued by penalties, however, which negated two touchdowns, including what would have been a 78-yard touchdown catch by Gates. Also, a pass interference call in the red zone on fourth down gave new life to the Indians, who scored on Jalon Bright’s 4-yard run shortly thereafter.
In the first half, Hanahan racked up seven penalties for 70 yards.
To say that Patterson was baffled would be an understatement.
“I can’t understand it,” he said. “We went from a game last week where I don’t think we had a penalty, to having seven of them in a half. We didn’t change the way we played. I don’t know what was going on. I have no idea. I can’t explain it.”
Smalls scored on a one-yard keeper less than three minutes into the third quarter, extending the margin to 28-7.
After that, Hayes took over, recording three consecutive rushing touchdowns (10, 30 and 40 yards) to secure the Hawks’ first 10-win season since 2002.
“A lot of times he popped it through there without being touched,” Patterson said of Hayes. “I think the offensive line opened up some good holes in there. When he gets in open field, he’s pretty tough. He’s pretty quick.”
Gilbert, the fourth seed from Region 5-AAA, closed its first season in Class AAA at 4-7.
Hanahan outgained the Indians, 534-255. Smalls’ 201-yard passing effort easily pushed him over the 1,500-yard mark on the season. The North-South All-Star Game selection completed 15 of 21 passes.
The Hawks (10-1) will welcome second-seeded Myrtle Beach, a 43-14 winner over Manning, to Wiley Knight Stadium in second-round action next Friday.
Gilbert 0 7 0 7–14
Hanahan 14 7 21 7–49
Hanahan — Mario Gates 12 pass from Anthony Smalls (Kyle Spigner kick)
Hanahan — Octavius Hayes 21 run (Spigner kick)
Gilbert — Jalon Bright 4 run (Dylan Amick kick)
Hanahan — Hayes 2 run (Spigner kick)
Hanahan — Smalls 1 run (Spigner kick)
Hanahan — Hayes 10 run (Spigner kick)
Hanahan — Hayes 30 run (Spigner kick)
Hanahan — Hayes 40 run (Spigner kick)
Gilbert — Omar Bethea 14 run (Amick kick)