Hawks lose to Hamilton
When one hears The Hollies singing “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” it’s highly unlikely that ANYONE thinks of the high school football playoffs. But, after a tough 21-17 loss last Friday night at Hamilton, two lines of that classic ring true in regards to the playoff chances of the Danville Hawks. The road is indeed long and there are many a winding turns. This much is known, the Hawks must win Friday’s home game against Haleyville to have any chance at the Class 4A playoffs.
The game started as if it was going to be an offensive shootout. Danville kicked to Hamilton and the Aggies scored on their opening possession going 56 yards in 7 plays. The touchdown came on a 13 yard pass from Blake Stidham to J.T. Kirby. The PAT was good and Hamilton led with 9:13 left in the opening period. The Stidham to Kirby connection would score two more TDs in the 1st half on passes of 27 and 23 yards respectively. Taking the football at their own 31, Danville wasted little time answering as Ryan Self scored on a 67 yard run on the Hawks second play from scrimmage. Logan Jaep’s PAT tied the game at 7 just 48 seconds after Hamilton’s scored.
On its next possession Hamilton drove deep into Danville territory but a fumble that bounced in and out of the end zone ended the scoring threat. The Hawks then went for it on 4th and short at their own 29 but failed to get the first down and Hamilton quickly capitalized as Stidham and Kirby connected for the score. The PAT was good and Hamilton led 14-7 late in the 1st quarter.
As Hamilton had done earlier, the Danville offense drove inside the 5 only to come up empty, turning it over on downs. The Hawk defense came up big though as they forced an Aggie fumble and Tyler Thompson scooped up the football and raced 4 yards for the Danville score. Jaep added the PAT and the game was tied at 14 midway through the 2nd quarter.
The Aggies would get their final points of the night on the third Stidham to Kirby touchdown of the game giving Hamilton a 21-14 lead at the half.
While the offenses owned the 1st half, the defenses took over the 2nd half. The only points of the final half came on the opening drive as the Hawks ran the ball 12 straight plays before Jaep kicked a 25 yard FG to cut the Hamilton lead to 21-17. Unfortunately for Danville, neither team would get into the end zone the rest of the way.
With the loss, the Hawks are now 4-4 overall and 2-3 in the region. Danville will host Haleyville in its final region game of the year. Kickoff is set for 7 pm.