Hawks improve with victory over Beaufort; Face Tough region rival on Friday

The Hanahan Hawks have a rivalry game this week and then could play for the Region 8-AAA championship the following week.

That’s why coach Charlie Patterson didn’t let his team savor Friday night’s 41-19 region victory over Beaufort too long.

Hanahan, 6-2 overall and 3-0 in league play, battles Berkeley this weekend in a Berkeley County rivalry game.

“This game is big for a lot of reasons,” said Patterson, whose team concludes the regular season against Hilton Head, a team that shares the region lead with the Hawks. “It’s a rivalry game which means bragging rights. It also will affect the playoffs. We need a win so we can get at least one home game in the playoffs. The game is also important for Berkeley. They are the defending region champs so there’s the pride factor. They also are fighting for a spot in the playoffs.”

The Hawks played perhaps their best first half of the season to win their third consecutive game. The Hawks had and effective running game and the passing game clicked. Vontre Howard led the way with 189 yards and scored two touchdowns. He also excelled on defense with eight tackles and an interception. Samuel Denmark led the receivers with a touchdown.

But the Hawks stumbled early in the third quarter as two potential scoring drives ended in a fumble and a failed conversion on 4th-and-1.

“We had two really good chances to put the game away and we didn’t get it done.” Patterson said. “The most important part of the game is the early stages of the third quarter, and we didn’t get it done. I was pleased overall, but when you can’t convert drives like that, it drives you crazy as a coach.”

The Stags travel to Wiley Knight Stadium with a 3-5 record, including 1-2 in region play. Berkeley posted a 48-0 victory over Stall last week. But the defensive performance was an aberration. The Stags have allowed at least 70 points three times this season in losses to Summerville, Cane Bay and Hilton Head.
The Stags are averaging nearly 36 points per game but the defense has been porous at best, surrendering 43 point per contest.

“Berkeley is capable of scoring a lot of points,” Patterson said. “They are athletic and have a lot of weapons. They can score from anywhere on the field. The defense appears to be getting better, so we will have our hands full.”

The Hawks can clinch at least second place in the region with a victory over the Stags. That would give the Hawks at least one home game during the playoffs. A victory over the Stags this week and a win over undefeated Hilton Head would probably give the Hawks two home games.

The Hawks have momentum with the three-game winning streak. But Patterson wants momentum during the entire game. He said his team has to play flawless football for 48 minutes.

“We not there yet, but we’re getting there,” Patterson said. “I’m happy with what we’re doing in the trenches. Friday, the line did a good job of opening holes. That has to continue.”

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