Hawks energy not enough against Panthers
Last Friday in front of its home crowd, the Hawks showed everyone what it is capable of. On a chilly September night Woodward came out on fire as it scored 13 points in the first four minutes of the game against 4-0 Panorama Panthers. Ultimately, the Panthers found its tempo and beat the Hawks 47-13.
All over the stadium, fans were excited and hoped the Hawks would try to cool off the undefeated Panthers. They knew how strong Panorama was and wanted to watch a competitive ball game. Woodward-Granger principal Robert Boley, who was in attendance, likes to see wins but acknowledged there is so much more than just wins and losses.
“I just expect our kids to compete and fight from the start until the end. I want our kids to not give up, and the wins will come,” he said.
Hawks assistant baseball coach and 2010 graduate Kyle Martin, who was tasked with recording offenses’ stats, believed his team could pull off the win as long as they kept a momentum.
“The only thing I can say is to try to defend a team that passes well is force them to stop the run,” he said. “Get them into those third and long where you know they are going to pass and then really defend it.”
From the get-go the Hawks followed that recipe for success. Hawks senior Race Brant received the opening kickoff and ran it 70 yards until being tackled on the Panther’s 17 yard line by Panthers junior Levi Leiferman. On the very first offensive series, Woodward sophomore Josh Saak scampered in for the touchdown. Hawks failed to convert the two-point conversion, so it led 6-0.
Two Panthers’ possessions later the Hawks #20 Brant forced a fumble and then sprinted 32 yards for the defensive touchdown. The team’s extra point was good and the hawks led 13-0 with 7:43 left in the first quarter. Hawks head coach George Ashman was exhilarated on the sideline as his team controlled the game against a good football team.
“We knew coming in that Panorama was a good football team. They are rated. Our kids got jacked up for it. We always play pretty well at home,” he said. “We had good energy. They overlooked us a little bit I think.”
That was the final score the Hawks could muster as they were unable to ride that momentum. The Panthers scored 13 straight points by halftime. The score remained that way until the fourth quarter when the Panthers rung off 34 unanswered points to put the game away.
“They were stronger than us and I talked about this earlier in the season that could be a weakness,” coach Ashman said. “We just didn’t do the things in the offseason to offset some of this.”
The loss dropped the team to 1-3 and 0-2 in its conference. The Hawks will try and put it behind them before Friday’s homecoming game versus South West Valley High School.
“We flushed it! It’s over! We still have a chance to do a lot of good things,” Ashman said. “Southwest Valley comes in for homecoming. It is a team that has the same record as us.”