Running back Vontre Howard led Hanahan High School to a 45-20 win over Bishop England Friday night, rushing for three touchdowns and 107 yards.
The Hawks have been very successful passing the ball in their first two games this season, but the running game was responsible for scoring five of their six touchdowns against the Bishops. Howard scored on runs of one, six and 22 yards.
Hanahan (3-0) ran for 282 yards as a team, including 77 from quarterback Victor Colbert. Colbert had a busy game, as he was 14 of 20 passing for 183 yards and a touchdown. Star wide receiver Samuel Denmark hauled in six catches in the first half for 78 yards as Bishop England (0-2) could not cover him.
However, he didn’t have a catch in the second half as Hanahan was able to establish its running game. Colbert only attempted six passes in the second half.
“We just take what the defense gives us. If we feel like we can run it, sustain drives and use clock then we’ll run the ball,” said Hawks coach Charlie Patterson.
The Bishops trailed by just 11 at halftime. Bishop England running back John Destafano ran the ball in from the 1-yard line for a touchdown that made it 7-6, in the first quarter, but Hanahan kicked a field goal and Howard added his second touchdown of the night on a 6-yard run with 3:41 left in the half to stretch it back out.
Kevin Waddell caught a 34-yard touchdown pass on the Hawks’ opening drive of the third quarter, but once again the home team responded. This time it was quarterback Leo Albano who pushed his way across the goal line for a touchdown. The lead was cut to 12, but that was as close as it would get.
Howard broke off for a 22-yard run and his third touchdown with 3:28 left in the third quarter to make it 31-12. Then Jerry Bailey got on the scoreboard with a rushing touchdown and the Hawks recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff, which eventually led to a 5-yard scamper into the end zone by Colbert.
Patterson said he wants his team to focus on improving defensively before their next game in two weeks.
“In all three of our games it seems like we’ve let teams have long drives. We’ve been able to stop them and force field goals and field goal attempts, but we’ve got to force a few more punts,” Patterson said. “We’re not giving up a ton of points but we’re giving up a ton of yards and letting them run down the clock.”
Bishop England lost its first game 41-0 to West Ashley, and coach John Cantey said he saw a lot of improvement this week.
“We played a whole lot better. We executed better and we battled. We didn’t step up when the challenge was there last week and I think we did this week. They wore us out but I think we can take a lot of confidence out of this game,” Cantey said.