Holly Pond runs over Hawks, 28-14
Paul Wilson, Enquirer Correspondent
HOLLY POND – You turn on the television on a Saturday or Sunday during football season and you will probably see offenses spread the field with four and five receivers as teams run their version of the "West Coast Offense" or some other type of pass-happy offense. Friday night the Holly Pond Broncos went "old school" as they used a power running game to defeat the Danville Hawks 28-7 in the Class 3A, Region 7 opener for both teams.
Operating mostly out of a fullhouse backfield set and two tight ends, the Broncos rolled up 346 yards rushing while holding the Hawks to 80. Holly Pond did most of their damage in the first half as the Broncos scored on three consecutive possessions to take a commanding 21-0 lead midway through the second quarter.
Quarterback Joey Hawkins scored the first touchdown of the night on a 6-yard run, capping a 13-play, 74-yard drive in which the Broncos converted twice on third down and once on fourth down. Holly Pond's two-point attempt was good as Hawkins hit tight end Clay Holcombe to make the score 8-0 in favor of the Broncos.
Danville fumbled the ensuing kickoff and Holly Pond recovered, giving the Broncos great field position at the Danville 43. Holly Pond drove 43 yards in six plays with the touchdown coming on a 19-yard pass from Hawkins to Luke Benefield. Eric Walker kicked the extra point to give the Broncos a 15-0 lead early in the second quarter.
Taylor Baker scored Holly Pond's final touchdown of the half on a 47-yard run down the right sideline. Walker's PAT was no good but the Broncos were leading 21-0 with 5:29 left in the half.
The Danville special teams set up the Hawks' only scoring drive of the night – stopping a fake punt attempt by Holly Pond to give the Hawks a first-and-10 at the Holly Pond 24. Five plays later sophomore running back Levi George ran 3 yards around right end for the touchdown. Senior Corey Evans kicked the PAT to cut the Bronco lead to 21-7 with just 19 seconds left in the half.
Holly Pond seemingly retook the momentum on the following kickoff as Baker raced 85 yards to the end zone. The run was called back on a penalty and a desperation pass by Hawkins fell incomplete to end the first half.
Holly Pond scored the only touchdown of the second half, going 90 yards in 10 plays with Pat Duke getting the touchdown on a 7-yard run. The Broncos were pinned deep in their own territory following a 60-yard punt by Danville senior David Long. Long did an excellent job in his first game as punter, kicking five times for a 42-yard average.
Walker kicked the extra point to make the final score 28-7 in favor of the Broncos.
With the loss, Danville falls to 0-1 in region play and 0-2 overall. The Hawks will entertain the Sumiton Christian Eagles tomorrow night at Smith-Owens Stadium, with kickoff set for 7 p.m.