Bobcats take lead from Hawks in final seconds to claim 16-14 victory
Hanahan’s David Morbitzer has been a head football coach for only three games. But it’s hard to imagine the 32-year-old coach will suffer a more heartbreaking loss than the one he and his team absorbed Friday night.
Morbitzer and the Hawks could only watch as Bluffton kicker Hunter Hayes’ 32-yard field goal attempt sailed successfully through the uprights as the clock at Wiley Knight Stadium reached 0:00. The field goal lifted the Bobcats to a 16-14 victory.
“You have to have a short memory, but that didn’t end the way we wanted it to,” Morbitzer said.
Bluffton upped its record to 2-2, while Hanahan fell to 1-2.
“We played pretty well,” added Morbitzer. “But we have to eliminate turnovers and focus on being a dominating team. We have to work on fixing ourselves, eliminating costly mistakes.”
Momentum can change in a hurry in high school football and the battle Friday night was proof. It seemed like the Hawks were primed to record the victory after Hunter Mills scored his second touchdown of the game to give the Hawks a 14-13 lead.
But the Bobcats managed some big plays to set up Hayes to be the hero. His field goal was good, and the Hawks had heartbreak. Hayes was a big cog in the Bobcats’ offense with three field goals.
Kylen Simmons scored the Bobcats’ only touchdown to give his team a 10-7 in the third quarter. The Bobcats forced a Hanahan turnover and Hayes pushed the lead to 13-7 with his second field goal of the game.
Hanahan collected 161 yards in total offense with 130 coming on the ground. Shiron Hart carried 16 times for 82 yards and Mills tallied six carries for 22 yards and both touchdowns. But the Hawks turned the ball over two times on offense and couldn’t cover a Bluffton onside kick and that haunted the Hawks.
“If we eliminate those mistakes, it’s a different ballgame,” Morbitzer said.
Quarterback Mac Blakeney completed 3 of 4 for 31 yards.
The Hawks’ defense played good enough to win, allowing only one touchdown while forcing two turnovers.
The Hawks are scheduled to travel to Garrett Academy of Technology this week and face a Falcon team that is coming off 46-0 victory over Military Magnet Academy. However, the week begins with one eye on the opposition and another on the weather.
Hurricane Florence continued to loom off the Atlantic coast, and the National Weather Service office in Charleston said the storm is expected to approach the Southeast coastline by late Thursday morning as at least a Category 3 hurricane. That could wreak havoc on this weekend’s schedule.
“We take every step in caution,” Morbitzer said of the possible severe weather. “Right now, it’s business as usual. But the county won’t take any chances. If we play Friday, that’s great. But if we have to move the game up a day or two, or play it in another week, we’ll do it. We just have to be focused and ready to go.”