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Hawks repeat season opener win over Carter

The Hardin Valley Hawks began their 2010 season with a 34-33 win in overtime against the Carter High School Hornets on the Hawks home turf Friday, Aug. 20.

The Hawks were down 14-26 late in the fourth quarter, but an onside kick recovered by junior running back Jordan Newport with less than two minutes left on the clock turned the tide. Two touchdowns, both scored by senior running back Dorian Eskridge, quickly followed. The last coming with only 39 seconds left in the game.

A missed point-after-touchdown left the game tied at 26-26 sending the game into overtime.

The Hornets won the coin toss and chose to receive the ball. The ball was taken at the 10-yard line and one quick pass into the end zone and a well placed kick put the Hornets up 33-26.

The Hawks chose to run the ball.

Eskridge’s first attempt was for no gain. On second and 10, he skipped five yards up the middle, only to have those yards taken back on a penalty.

On third and 10, with 39 seconds left in the game, Eskridge made it happen on a handoff from senior quarterback Jake Bishop.

“First thing in my mind is there is not a hole there and I had to bounce it outside. Thank you for my wide receivers and my linemen to hold it off for me so I could get it outside,” Eskridge said.

With the score at 33-33, Hawks head coach Wesley Jones did a gut check and made the call for the two point conversion. Eskridge scampered inside for the win.

Of the risk of the call, Jones said, “We had been driving the football, so our offensive line was clicking. They gave us a look like that we liked, so we just said, ‘Hey let’s line up on sideline and let’s sprint right on in and try to catch them in that same formation and do it again.’ And it happened for us. When it works, you look like a genius. If we didn’t get it, they would be saying, ‘Coach why did you go for two and not kick it.’”

Jones said the decision for the play ultimately was a group effort.

“We were talking about it on the sideline. I was thinking about playing our percentages, but during the third and fourth quarter, we looked like a Mash unit over here on the sideline with cramps and I wasn’t sure how we would come back. But we talked about it as a staff and everybody said ‘Let’s do it,’ so we went for it.’”

Eskridge scored four of the five touchdowns while senior wide receiver Adam Schlosser racked up one as well.

Jones said, “Dorian is incredible. Barry Sanders is what he looked like … he looked like a man-child. He was cramped up in the third quarter and we had a young sophomore come in and carry the ball for us and then we went to Dorian and said, ‘Listen Big Guy, you are just going to have to carry us,’ and he just sucked it up and went in and played offense and defense. That guy is player of the game, no doubt.”

The players have high hopes for the rest of the season.

Schlosser said, “Our first year coming in, we had a lot of things thrown at us. But this year we know what we have to do. This is a great learning experience for us and I think this is a great way to get the season started.

The Hawks will hit the road next week to take on West High School Friday, Aug. 27, at 7:30 p.m.


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