Hawks pick up big win in season opener

The Hay Springs Hawks football team began the 2013 season with a solid win over Morrill on Friday night 44-8. The Hawks jump started with an early score by senior running back, Stevin Horrocks, with 8:07 left in the quarter, followed by a successful PAT, also by Horrocks. With 3:07 left in the first, Levi Ray intercepted a pass at Morrill’s 11 yard line and ran the ball in for the Hawk’s second touchdown of the game. The PAT was no good. With the clock winding down in the first, Horrocks again powered his way toward the endzone. One yard from scoring, the ball was fumbled into the air. Riley Abbott came down with the ball and finished the final yard of the touchdown run. Horrocks again completed the PAT, making the score 22-0.

The Hawks started their first drive of the second quarter with great field position and quickly utilized it, scoring on a one-yard run by Joey Johnson on only the fourth play of the drive. Horrocks again added the PAT. Two minutes later, Horrocks was given the ball on the first play of the drive and took it 56 yards for his third touchdown of the game. Jordan Houser scored the PAT, making the score 38-0 at the half.

Things slowed slightly in the second half as the reserve players got some valuable field time, but Horrocks still scored quickly on a 65-yard run with 11:45 still left in the third. The PAT was no good.

Morrill finally got on the board early in the fourth quarter following a fumble at the Hawks’ 18-yard-line. The PAT was good, making the final score 44-8, Hawks.

Horrocks led the Hawks in rushing with 198 yards on 15 carries. Joey Johnson and Levi Ray led the Hawks in tackles with 7 a piece. Also deserving mention was a 41-yard punt by Jordan Encinia. 

“I am really pleased with the effort and execution the team displayed,” stated Coach Jason Funk. “Our guys really played hard and all the work in the preseason is paying off.”

Horrocks dominated at tailback, breaking several tackles to score long runs. He finished the game with 198 yards on only 15 carries with a whopping 13.2 yards per carry. He broke long runs of 56 and 65 yards. “Steve had a great game,” stated Funk. “His balance this year is amazing when he runs. I thought he was going down a couple of times and he was able to keep his feet under him and keep going.” Funk was also pleased with the play of Chris Ray. “Ray was able to break some good runs and did a great job on punt returns.”  

Both sides of the line did well for the Hawks. “Riley Abbott, Seth Nowak, Colton Marx and Austin Reed did a great job for us up front and were the reason Horrocks was able to get those yards. Our line opened up some nice holes,” said Funk. “We were also able to contain the speed of Morrill by forcing them inside to our linebackers. They were never able to get their offense going against our first unit. I was pleased with the tenacity of our defense.”  

The Hawks travel to face Rapid City Christian this Friday. Coach Funk expects Rapid City Christian to be a tough opponent with a well-coached and disciplined team. “They dominated us last year, but the Hawks hit the weight room this summer and we are a better team. Our depth and experience is showing early as we only lost two starters from last year’s team and our young guys are maturing nicely. Our team goal is to stay positive and to improve every day,” Funk stated.

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