SHAW— Friday night was another episode of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde for the Shaw High School Hawks as they celebrated homecoming.
In this week's show, the Hawks hosted the McAdams Bulldogs in a Region 2-1A football clash. Much like they have all season the Hawks came out flat, but found a way in the second half to turn it on enough to squeak out another victory with a 14-8 win over McAdams.
The Hawks improved to 4-3 on the year with a 3-2 mark in the region. McAdams is now 3-4 overall with a 2-3 mark in region play.
The Bulldogs opened the contest in explosive fashion running the ball down the Hawks’ throat to take an early 8-0 lead.
Shaw head football coach Montrelli Finley was not pleased with the team's continued lack of focus to start the game.
"Some games we have lacked focus and tonight was no different,” Finley said. “We came out flat in the first series of the game and they (McAdams) did what they wanted to do on us. Once we figured out what was going on we pushed back and we ended up shutting them out the rest of the game for three and a half quarters.”
One offensive series and one defensive series truly exemplified the heart of the Hawks on Friday night when they are locked in and focus.
The first example started the third quarter when the Hawks’ offense started its drive on the 32-yard line. Melvindrick Johnson, the junior signal caller, came out and connected with Deandre King for a 49-yard pick up.
Josh Bass was the recipient of the next play, but his long run was called back due to holding. Johnson was not bothered and on the next play he connected with Kevin Dorsey in the end zone for a 19-yard touchdown with 11:07 on the clock. Bass added the two-point conversion for an 8-8 tie.
"We noticed what they were doing in the first half at halftime and we came out and exploited it,” Finley said. “They were leaving the flats open so we hit the tight end in the flats and Melvindrick and Deandre King made a big play for us to get us going.”
The Hawks’ second big series came on defense after a high snap over Dorsey's head ended up being downed on the Hawks’ one-yard line in the third quarter.
The Hawks showed their heart and dug in and turned the Bulldogs away forcing a turnover on downs to get the ball back.
"I couldn't be more prouder of my guys with that defensive stand," said Finley.
The game continued to go back and forth with both teams taking turns punting the ball or turning it over on downs.
Late in the fourth quarter, the Hawks were driving and had the ball deep inside Bulldogs territory on the three-yard line following a 21-yard run from Dacciarus Clark.
The drive however stalled as the Bulldogs’ defense clamped down and stopped Shaw on fourth and goal from the three-yard line.
It was the Hawks' defense that came alive again as William Scott intercepted a pass from McAdams and returned it down inside the 15-yard line.
Clark made the turnover count with 3:50 left in the game on a three-yard touchdown plunge for a 14-8 lead. The conversion attempt failed.
McAdams had one last chance, but the Hawks did not allow the Bulldogs to make any advances as they turned the ball over on downs and Shaw was able to kneel on the ball and secure the win.
Johnson finished the night completing 5-of-13 passes for 115 yards with a touchdown. Clark had 38 yards on seven carries with a touchdown and Dorsey caught two passes for 41 yards with a touchdown.
King led the Hawks’ defense with 13 tackles including a sack, followed by Malik Matthews with 10 tackles including a sack, Jimmy Brown with 10 tackles, Jamarion Walker and Clark with eight tackles each, Scott with seven tackles including an interceptions and Dorsey with seven tackles.
The Hawks will be back in action Friday at 7 p.m. in Shelby against the Broad Street Jaguars.