HANAHAN -- After missing the majority of the regular season due to injury, Hanahan wide receiver Chris Brown made sure to his presence would be felt in the postseason.
The Notre Dame commitment had nine receptions for 145 yards and three touchdowns and also returned a punt for a score to lead the Hawks to a 42-18 victory over Lake City in the second round of the Class AA playoffs Friday night at Wiley Knight Stadium.
"He's a great player," Hanahan head coach Charlie Patterson said. "He's just one of those special guys that can do great things for you. Any time he gets the ball in his hands, he's dangerous. That's why we try to get it to him in as many ways as we can."
A big first quarter was the difference in the ball game. Hanahan forced a fumble on Lake City's first play from scrimmage and turned it into points just three plays later when quarterback Anthony Smalls found Brown from 13 yards out.
After forcing the Panthers to punt on the next possession, the Hawks only needed to plays to find the end zone. Once again it was Brown with a 12-yard touchdown catch.
Hanahan (7-4) made it 21-0 in the first period when Smalls capped off a nine-play, 58-yard drive with a 1-yard sneak. The possession was set up by another fumble recovery by Brian Ford.
"It's huge in any game when you can get ahead. It kind of relaxes your play calling and let's you do some different things on defense," Patterson said.
Lake City (6-6) answered with a 60-yard touchdown run by Devarus Brunson to cut the deficit to 21-6, but more of Brown's heroics essentially put the game away. The senior returned a punt 72 yards to extend the lead and take all the momentum from the Panthers.
"What a tremendous player," Lake City head coach Jim Rowell said of Brown. "We worked all week long on different coverages trying to put ourselves in position to contain him, but he just made us look silly. We knew he was a difficult matchup for us and he didn't disappoint. He played extremely well and made huge plays for them throughout the night."
Brunson tried to get Lake City back into it, taking a handoff up the middle for a 74-yard score, but it was as close as the Panthers could get the rest of the way. Brunson also led the defense with 10 tackles, three sacks and a forced fumble.
"We dug ourselves a hole early, but there's no shame in losing to Hanahan. They're a great team. Defensively, we made some mistakes early, but offensively we can't afford to give the ball up like we did. Our kids fought and played hard, but we were just in too big a hole and didn't have enough to come back," Rowell said.
Hanahan will host Timberland, winners over Loris, next Friday. The Wolves won, 56-14, when the teams met earlier this season.
H - Chris Brown 13 pass from Anthony Smalls (Kyle Spigner kick)
H - Brown 12 pass from Smalls (Spigner kick)
H - Smalls 1 run (Spigner kick)
LC - Devarus Brunson 60 run (run failed)
H - Brown 72 punt return (Spigner kick)
LC - Brunson run (pass failed)
H - Smalls 8 run (Spigner kick)
LC - Kevin Adams 15 pass from Bryce Thomas (run failed)
H - Brown 24 pass from Smalls (Spigner kick)