Undefeated Hawks face a tough Cane Bay foe this week
Thanks to the movie, high school football in the South is known as Friday Night Lights.
For Hanahan football coach Charlie Patterson, it was recently more like Friday Night Frights.
Hanahan was off last Friday after opening the season with three consecutive victories. He spent the night watching his next foe, Cane Bay, take Berkeley to the woodshed. Cane Bay punished the Stags with a 70-34 decision.
“Well, Cane Bay is very good on offense,” said Patterson, whose team is on the road this weekend and then home against Stratford on Sept. 25. “In fact, they do a lot of things well. We will have our hands full, trying to stop them.”
No one’s been able to stop the Hawks so far this season. They have outscored foes 124-53 in their three wins. One of the Hawks’ victories came against defending II-AA state champ Timberland. But for the next two weeks, it’s a diet of Class AAAA teams.
“Depth, that’s always an issue when you play against a team or teams that have bigger (enrollment) numbers than you,” said Patterson, whose team is 2-0 on the road this season. “When you are in that situation, the question is: ‘Can you hold up in the fourth quarter or will you be worn down?’”
The Hawks, who have won 32 of their last 40 games, have turned the preseason question marks into answers. The most pleasant surprise has been the play of junior quarterback Victor Colbert, who is in his first year as a starter on the varsity.
“It’s not that we didn’t think he would do a good job,” Patterson said. “It’s just that we didn’t know. We are pleased with the way he’s played and helped lead the team. You just never know how a player is going to react until you put a guy under the lights. We are pleased.”
The offensive and defensive lines have been built, but Patterson wants to see more consistent play from the men in the trenches who ultimately determine a team’s success.
The big three on the team are wide receiver Samuel Denmark and defensive specialists Tre Smalls and Dominique Green. Denmark has committed to Virginia Tech. Smalls and Green should also play at the next level.
“We know who these guys were and what we could expect from them,” Patterson said. “What we’re just as happy with are the guys who have come out and proven that they can play. They have proved they can help.”
Running back is certainly no surprise as well as Patterson greeted a stable of returning running backs at the start of the camp. The Hawks rushed for 298 yards in the win against Bishop England the week before the off week. Cyrone Howard rushed for 105 yards, Colbert tallied 90 and Jerry Bailey 89.