HANAHAN — Hanahan’s opening-round game in the Class AAA playoffs Friday night was not unlike many of its regular-season contests.
The Hawks (11-0) dispatched visiting Southside, 38-7. It was Hanahan’s 10th win by at least a 30-point margin.
A stout defensive effort limited the visiting Tigers to 74 yards on 51 plays, and junior Jacob Garibay recorded three of Hanahan’s five sacks. Had it not been for Mackenzie Carter’s touchdown with 3.7 seconds left in the game against a second-string defense, the Region 8-AAA champions would have notched their fifth shutout of the season.
“Our defense played great the whole night,” Hawks coach Charlie Patterson said. “The front guys (are) difficult to block, and we’ve got guys in the secondary that can cover as well. We have just a solid defense from top to bottom.”
Marlboro County, a 42-14 winner over Swansea, will travel to Wiley Knight Stadium for a second-round game next week. Southside, the fourth seed from Region 2-AAA, closed its season at 6-5.
Saaehim Brooks’ 24-yard touchdown reception from Mason Schwerzler capped a five-play, 72-yard drive to start the game. Sophomore Sam Denmark followed with an 18-yard TD catch as Hanahan set the tone with a 14-0 advantage less than four minutes into the game.
Despite a 17-0 lead at halftime, Patterson felt that his team left too many points on the field. As one example, the Hawks had to settle for Kyle Spigner’s 19-yard field goal after gaining possession at the Southside 4-yard line.
“We had a pass down there we should have caught in the end zone,” said Patterson, who also commented on the irony of feeling frustrated after a 31-point win. “We had several holding penalties and got in long-yardage situations. We don’t have many third-and-20 plays.”
A 36-yard fumble return for a touchdown by Vontrell Grant put Hanahan ahead, 24-0, before a pair of touchdowns within a 15-second span enhanced the margin in the fourth quarter. Chase Pfaff’s 35-yard grab preceded Ronald England’s fumble recovery on the ensuing kickoff return. Quan Wade then hit paydirt from 14 yards out 3:53 into the fourth quarter.
Schwerzler completed 10 of 20 passes for 179 yards and three touchdowns. As a team the Hawks totaled 282 yards but were successful on just 1 of 6 third-down conversions.
“We felt like we should have put more points on the board against this team,” Patterson said. We’ve got to get it straightened out by next week. If we don’t, we won’t have to worry about it anymore.”
Southside 0 0 0 7–7
Hanahan 14 3 7 14–38
H — Saaehim Brooks 24 pass from Mason Schwerzler (Kyle Spigner kick)
H — Sam Denmark 18 pass from Schwerzler (Spigner kick)
H — Spigner 19 field goal
H — Vontrell Grant 36 fumble return (Spigner kick)
H — Chase Pfaff 35 pass from Schwerzler (Spigner kick)
H — Quan Wade 14 run (Spigner kick)
S — Mackenzie Carter 1 run (Micah Tiffin kick)