Red Hawks roll over expansion Lakefield team 0
Before the first minute it was all but over for the visiting Lakefield District Secondary School Tigers, as the Red Hawks junior football team took full advantage of the newest program in the Kawartha Football League.
The Tigers were reeling and appeared to be shell shocked after the Red Hawks struck with two touchdowns and a pair of two-point conversions within the first minute.
Obviously there was plenty to cheer about for the Red Hawks faithful, as the home team won 38-6 on the strength of the dominating first half.
Long-time Red Hawks coach Bruce Griffith was a little bewildered by the shift in performance for his team who looked like world beaters in the first quarter and then almost handed the game back in the second half.
“That happens every year in junior. It’s all about momentum,” he said. “If we hadn’t scored all those touchdowns in the first quarter it would have been closer. They could have won it.”
He said with a lopsided score early, the Red Hawks coaching staff wanted to get the rookies in for some playing time, but with penalties and a loss of focus this wasn’t an option.
On the first play the Highlands fans erupted as Red Hawks slotback Joseph Patrick emerged from the pack after an apparent fumble on the kick off return during a tackle and ran into the end zone.
The touchdown was scored so quickly it is easily the fastest in the history at the Gary G. Brohman Athletic Field. HHSS quarterback Devon Upton added two more with a pass to a wide open Hunter Smith 8-0.
Patrick, who also had a few defensive and special teams’ duties, finished with a pair of touchdowns and a two-point convert run,
Without a first down from Lakefield on their first drive, the Red Hawks reclaimed possession inside the visitors end. HHSS continued with its dominance, sending tailback Matt Rider on a 20-plus yard touchdown run for a 14-0 lead. Upton connected again with Smith for two more 16-0.
From inside the 50 yardline, Joseph showed his speed on the last drive of the first quarter.
Upton handed it off to Joseph who ran past the line of scrimmage and through the secondary untouched to his second score of the game for 22-0. Joseph completed the offensive drive with a run for a successful two-point conversion 24-0.
Not to be outdone the defense showed signs of brilliance.
During the subsequent Tigers’ offensive drive, linebacker Curtis Ballantyne broke through the Tigers’ line and sacked the Lakefield quarterback to cause a fumble.
Alertly, Red Hawks defensive tackle Travis Carroll picked up the loose ball and rumbled several yards before getting tackled inside the Tigers’ red zone.
With the first attempt to capitalize on the turnover, HHSS full back Ben Davis ran it in from just outside the five-yard line for 30-0 lead.
Although the extra-point attempt failed from a high snap, the Red Hawks were poised to win easily.
However the momentum shifted and a pair of costly penalties put the Tigers inside the red zone. They capitalized with a touchdown 30-6.
The extra-point attempt failed. Undeterred the Tigers regained possession with an onside kick when it was mishandled.
Just as the Tigers looked to score again and seize the opportunity of a pass interference call setting them in the Red Hawks red zone, HHSS ended any miracle comebacks with a timely tackle. Red Hawks linebacker Smith showed alertness in tackling the Tigers’ receiver well short of the end zone on the last drive of the half. It ended the Tigers momentum.
Although the Tigers tightened up the defence, HHSS helped the opposition as their game deteriorated. Red Hawks penalties didn’t help and they enabled the Tigers. It robbed HHSS of any chance to reclaim the momentum from the first quarter.
However the Red Hawks defence appeared to hold well when the Tigers showed a threat to score.
In the last two minutes HHSS showed its resolve by putting the game away with a defensive touch down. Red Hawks cornerback Cody Bain stepped up and grabbed a short pass at the midfield. He then ran it in to secure the Red Hawks third win of the season. Upton, as he did all game, passed to Smith for two more points on the convert.
The Red Hawks improve to 3-1 while the Tigers remain winless through four games in their inaugural campaign after an approximate 40-year absence from football.
Note: Linebacker Hunter Smith showed his offensive skills when he teamed up with Devon Upton for three two-point conversions in the game.