The game may not have started the way head coach Rick Steele and his Hockinson Hawks wanted, but after taking an early punch from Hudson’s Bay, the Hawks sent the Eagles to the mat with a 43-8 victory in a non-league football game played Sept. 14 at Kiggins Bowl.
Hudson’s Bay struck on the opening kickoff as junior Ayrrius Presley took it back 89 yards for the first touchdown, and a two-point conversion gave the Eagles an 8-0 lead.
“We just weren’t awake when we got off the bus,” said Steele. “We took the field thinking we had the game already and Bay was going to give it to us. They were proved wrong with that.”
The early troubles continued for the Hawks on their first possession as false start and illegal motion penalties stifled quarterback Jess Krahn and the offense. Fortunately for the Hawks, they managed to get the Eagles defense to jump the gun as well, in a first quarter best described as “one step forward, two steps back.”
Hockinson, which improved to 3-0 on the season with its third straight lopsided win, finally got on the board at the end of the first quarter, thanks to a Thomas Kirschenbaum 15-yard run, but a missed two-point conversion still kept Hudson’s Bay in front 8-6. It wouldn’t stay that way for long, though.
The Eagles tried to extend their lead, only to lose the ball on a fumble with about five minutes left in the first half, and the Hawks capitalized. Using great field position, they marched to the go-ahead score with senior Nick Guinett punching it in from two yards out to put Hockinson ahead for good. A successful two-point conversion and another touchdown just before the half sent Hockinson into the locker room with a 21-8 halftime lead.
Both teams again stumbled on offense early in the second half, but the Hawks’ defense began reaching Eagles senior quarterback T.J. Brumfield. With Bay driving deep in Hockinson territory near the end of the third quarter, Brumfield was sacked and stripped of the ball, which was scooped up by Dominic West. The 5-foot-7, 200-pound defensive lineman took it back 81 yards for the touchdown as the Hawks sideline erupted in a total frenzy of celebration.
West had no doubt he’d find paydirt on the turnover.
“Had it all the way,” West said after the game. “I’m a lot faster than people think and I was just worried about losing it as I ran.”
Hockinson would tack on a safety, thanks to a botched Eagles punt snap that went out of the endzone. Then, short yardage touchdown runs by Kirschenbaum and Joe Davis put the ribbon on the win. In the postgame huddle, however, Coach Steele stressed the need to not rest on how they disposed of the school he’d played for and graduated from.
“We shot ourselves in the foot a lot tonight,” Steele said. “Not only do we not have any ammo left, but we’re also out of toes. If we make those same mistakes against River Ridge next week, we are going to get spanked.”
Even with the early mistakes, Steele was still happy to leave the Kiggins Bowl with the victory.
“We’re always looking to improve and we’re going to be taking on a very tough team (next), so we’re going to have strong practices this week and make sure we’re ready to play,” the coach said.