There weren’t big expectations for Whittell (1-5) to beat Hawthorne (7-1), a mostly 200-plus pound team, but the Warriors did show flashes of greatness and a peak into a promising future seasons.
“You see the glimpses,” Whittell coach David Housel said. “If you look at from a few minutes into the game until halftime, the game was 8-8. It’s these glimpses, and you see how great they can be.”
Unfortunately, the glimpses weren’t enough in the Warriors’ 60-8 homecoming loss as they fell to the powerhouse Hawthorne Serpents Saturday afternoon at home.
Hawthorne took control of the game in the first quarter. The Serpents notched four unanswered touchdowns to open the game that where sparked by four interceptions.
Hawthorne quarterback Jared Keuhey was unstoppable. The 6–foot-4, 218-pound senior ran in an 8-yard touchdown in the first two minutes. He then hit Collin Sanford and Tyshawn Bonner with two touchdown passes in the ensuing five minutes. Sanford than ran in touchdown No. 4 from 10 yards out and the Serpents were out to a 30-0 lead.
The Warriors finally found their footing with less than two minutes left in the first quarter.
The play was almost a fumble, but quarterback Jake Sharp recovered the snap and flipped the ball to senior running back Alex Barnes. Barnes secured the ball and flew down the field for an 85-yard touchdown run. Tristan Beckwith punched in the conversion and the first quarter came to an end with Whittell trailing 30-8.
The Warriors stepped up their defense in the second quarter and started driving the ball down the field. Sharp hit Barnes, then Colin Buchholtz as he marched the Warriors to Hawthorne’s 23, but the Serpents forced a three-and-out.
The Serpents finally muscled their way back into Whittell’s end zone with 22 seconds left on the clock. Sanford ran the ball in from 12 yards out and Keuhey added the conversion as Hawthorne headed to halftime leading 38-8.
The second half was all Hawthorne as the Serpents regained momentum and added three more touchdowns.
UP NEXT: The Warriors finish up their season on the road. They will play at Virginia City on Saturday, and Excel Christian the following Friday, Oct. 25.