In a battle of big play offense and “in the trenches” defense it was the Hawkins Hawks (6-4, 2-2) coming out on top of a 49-28 shootout with the Overton Mustangs (2-8, 1-3).
Overton rolled up nearly 500 yards of total offense, but was plagued by drive-killing turnovers, which gave the opportunistic Hawks excellent field position time and time again.
For a Mustangs squad that was also honoring its senior athletes, the seniors certainly rose to the occasion, on both sides of the ball.
Overton’s “magnificent seven” seniors Alex Meadows, Dylan Lantz, Levi West, Logan Rhoades, Shaderon “Dae Dae” Slaughter, Shelton Rogers, and Zach Henington pulled double-duty on both sides of the ball, and almost led their team to victory.
“I left it on the field,” said fullback and linebacker Shelton Rogers. “I left it on the field.” Rogers finished his career as a Mustang with 89 yards on 9 carries and 13 tackles against the Hawks.
Lantz and Meadows led all Overton defenders with 15 tackles on the night, Slaughter and West contributed nine and seven bringdowns respectively while playing every snap on the offensive line as well.
While it was the end of an era for the seniors, it was a coming-out party for freshman halfback Da’Corian Ford who rushed seven times for 112 yards, including a dazzling 75-yard touchdown scamper in the third quarter.
For the juniors who will step into leadership roles next season, there were also some standout performances.
Austin McCasland completed five passes for 98 yards and two touchdowns, a 36-yard bullet to junior tight end Spencer Wright and a 35-yard toss to junior wideout Derek Graham.
Junior halfbacks Tyler Rhodes and Tim Hawkins combined for 78 rushing yards, with Rhodes gaining another 68 yards on kick returns.
Sophomore signal caller K.J. Luster contributed to the cause with 67 passing yards, including a 41-yard perfect spiral to Wright to close out the first half.
“It’s been a hard season for these young men but I’m proud of the way they’ve carried themselves,” said OHS head coach Bo Talkington. “They’ve had a lot of challenges and they fought it out to the end […] I’m thankful for the leadership of the seniors.”
The Mustangs galloped to 291 yards on the ground, with 165 passing yards, for a total of 456 on the night.