Hanahan football followers know memorable regular seasons don’t always translate into monumental playoff runs.
In 1997, Hanahan cruised through the regular season undefeated, allowing only one touchdown all year. But when it came to the playoffs, the Hawks reached only the second round and were bounced by Edisto by a 3-0 score.
Friday, Hanahan opens the Class AAA playoffs with a 10-0 record and a 7:30 p.m. home game against Southside. Coach Charlie Patterson and his team know the Hawks must get four good quarters of play, or the postseason won’t last long.
That point was hammered home last week when the Hawks struggled against Stall before eventually pulling away in a 34-0 victory.
“We have to be ready,” said Patterson, whose team is tied for No. 2 in the latest Class AAA state poll. We have to be ready the rest of the way. We weren’t ready last week, and the coaches have to take the blame. If the team is not ready to go, that’s on us.”
The Hawks are allowing only 8.7 points per game. They have posted four shutouts and held two other teams to a touchdown. The offense is averaging 43.9 points per game.
Quarterback Mason Schwerzler has completed 59 percent of his passes for 2,069 yards and 26 touchdowns. His favorite targets are North-South Game selection Terrell Green and Sam Denmark, one of the top junior wide receivers in the state.
Running back Quan Wade has been solid all year, rushing for 1,158 yards and 17 touchdowns.
The Hawks will face a Riverside team that posted a 6-4 record and allowed 19.5 points per game.
Friday is the opening round of the playoffs, and two teams are seeking to repeat as state champions.
Cross won the Division II-A state title last year and begins defense of its crown with a home game against Lincoln.
Bishop England is seeking its third straight Division II-AA state championship. The Bishops, who won Region 6-AA, received a bye this week and will host the winner of the Andrews-Calhoun County game on Nov. 15.
Timberland is seeking its second Division I-AA state title in three years. The Wolves also received a bye and will play the winner of the Aynor-Marion game.
The Class AAAA state playoffs begin next week.
The Class A state football championships will be held Nov. 29 at Benedict College in Columbia. The Class AA championships will be held Dec. 6 at Benedict College.
The Class AAA and AAAA state football championships will be held Dec. 7 at USC’s Williams-Brice Stadium.