Bishops advance in football playoffs, Hawks drop in heartbreaker
Not even an extra hour over the weekend, thanks to the end of Daylight Savings Time, gave Bishop England High School football coach John Cantey enough time to watch video of this week’s playoff opponent, the Dillon Wildcats.
“They are always so tough,” said Cantey, whose team advanced to the second round of the Class AAA state playoffs thanks to a 32-26 victory over Battery Creek Friday at Jack Cantey Stadium on Daniel Island. “They play in front of big crowds. They’re big and fast and have that aura about them. I kind of have to knock them down in the mindset of our players, and tell them they are just a team.”
But Dillon is quite an impressive team. The Wildcats are 11-0 and are averaging 41.1 points on offense while allowing only 10.5 on defense. To make matters worse for the Bishops, they will have to make that long bus trip.
The Bishops survived the first round of the playoffs, but the Hanahan Hawks did not. The Hawks traveled to Bluffton and dropped a heartbreaker, 22-21.
The Bishops benefitted from what was quarterback Leo Albano’s most balanced game of the season.
The senior rushed 34 times for 246 yards and scored the game’s first three touchdowns on runs of 29, 8 and 68 yards. He also accounted for the Bishops’ fourth score, a 56-yard TD pass to John Dengler to lead the Bishops to a 25-0 halftime lead. Albano was 14 of 23 passing for 209 yards and a score. Dengler caught four passes for 106 yards.
“I thought we came out ready to play,” Cantey said of his team’s 25-0 lead at halftime. “I think we sort of took the foot off the pedal. They executed well in the second half, but it was a good win for us.”
Battery Creek controlled the second half, outscoring the Bishops 14-7 in the third quarter and 12-0 in the final 12 minutes.
Albano, who has helped the Bishops post a 7-3 record heading into this weekend’s game, now has 2,729 total yards and has accounted for 39 of the Bishops’ 49 touchdowns. He has 1,603 yards and 27 touchdowns on the ground.
“It’s pretty awesome to watch him play,” Cantey said of Albano. “He did everything against Battery Creek.”
Christian Greavu added an 18-yard TD run to close out the Bishops’ scoring. He now has 804 yards rushing and 442 yards receiving. He has scored 11 touchdowns.
In the Hanahan vs. Bluffton Class AAA playoff game, Bluffton was aided by more than 100 yards in penalties called on visiting Hanahan.
The loss overshadowed a big effort by Hawk running back Quincy Mitchell, who has one game left in his prep football career: The North-South all-Star Football Game next month in Myrtle Beach. The speedster rushed for 270 yards and scored all three of Hanahan’s touchdowns.
The Hawks logged their second straight losing season, posting a 4-7 record. They went 3-8 last fall.