Time to regroup and grow deeper as a team

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By Austin McDermott, Sports Co-Editor

Friday’s game was far from perfect for both the MTHS Hawks and Stanwood Spartans.

Both teams couldn’t hold on to the ball. Stanwood’s Collin Hood was responsible for four fumbles, two of which resulted in turnovers for the Spartans.

Stanwood also suffered from some major communication issues. On two different occasions, the Spartans called consecutive timeouts without even snapping the football. I would imagine such issues will go away in a week or two as both team need to “work out the kinks” early in the year.

Justin Hopkins, the Hawks new quarterback, was injured early in the first quarter, less than five minutes into the season. Suffering a sprained ankle, he sat out the rest of the quarter before returning with an extremely visible limp and severely reduced mobility. Hopkins finished the night with three interceptions and a fumble that occurred when he was injured. The junior quarterback seems probable for next weeks matchup against the Edmonds-Woodway Warriors.

The running game for the Hawks was, quite simply, nothing at all like last year. With Chance Ragsdale and Ryan Lacasse taking over in the backfield after losing Devante Downs (I know, beating a dead horse with that one) to a torn ACL, both showed flashes of greatness at points.

With that being said, Stanwood quickly learned Terrace’s limited play calling and pounded the Hawks’ offensive line, stopping most runs for only a handful of yards. When Ragsdale or Lacasse were able to find a hole they showed their offensive prowness, breaking a few tackles and forcing their way for big gains for the Hawks.

It’s the first game of the year. The run game wasn’t on par with what we were expecting, and the pass game lost both Justin Hopkins early and starting wide receiver (and safety) Jonathon Williams in the first quarter.

As expected, Austin Bates, Kaleb Davis, Jevin Pahinui, and Brett Potter destroyed the Stanwood line on defense.

Bates broke onto the varsity scene in a spectacular fashion, almost finishing with two interceptions, but the second was revoked by a (by personal opinion,) poor sighted official.

Davis and Pahinui punished whatever ball carrier came their way. Pahinui, a 2012 all-Wesco 1st team selection, was double and triple teamed the entire game and still found a way through the Stanwood line, playing like a semi truck that couldn’t be stopped. Kaleb Davis was frequently stopping runs and putting pressure on Stanwood QB Drew Wright, forcing bad passes all night long.

All things being said, the Hawks did not play well as a team. After the game, Bates noted that the team was playing very tired, which should be expected as it is just the first game of the season. The pass game will come with time, after losing last year’s starting QB as well as every receiver. We saw what the run game could be, but it still needs a lot of refinement.

The biggest worry is in the secondary, where someone needs to step up and be a Mason Stone type of playmaker, who takes charge and leads by example. This is still a very good Hawks team, Coach Umayum  just needs time to figure out how to get back to where they were a year ago.