Football Notes: Hillcrest Hawks vs Morgan Park Mustangs


DaJon Jones, Staff Writer

On August 26, 2017, Hillcrest Hawks took on the Morgan Park Mustangs. This was the first game of the season for both teams. The game was held at Gately Stadium on a Saturday night. This was the first away game for the Hillcrest Hawks. New head coach, Morgan Weaver, took over from Marquice Cole this season.

People from everywhere believed that the Hillcrest Hawks could not win against the Morgan Park Mustangs. Weaver, made sure that the Hawks were well prepared for this game. By doing that, the football team spent their offseason conditioning and working hard in the weight room.

Over the summer, no matter how hot it was, every day for long hard hours, the team came out grinding: making sure that they had no days off. He informed the Hawks that people underestimated them and that people believe that they won’t be the same without former star player, Marcus Garrett. Despite what the Hawks heard, coaches made sure that the players came out on the field with positive energy and determination to win the game.

As they were getting ready in the locker room, Weaver gave them a motivational speech which helped them come out on the field with one thing on their mind, winning. On the very first defensive play for the Hawks, Dakari Smith (’18) made a booming hit on the Mustangs running back. After watching that first play, I could tell how the game was going to go and what the outcome for the Hawks was going to be. A couple of plays went by and the Hawks hardworking defense made the Mustangs punt team come out on 4th down and punt it to #8, Nick Lindley.

For the first offensive play for the Hawks, quarterback, Rocky Griffin threw an excellent pass for 33 yards to wide receiver, Corey Crooms. One thing about the Hawks is that we have a lot of skilled wide receivers. On this drive we scored the ball first. Rocky Griffin threw a perfect pass again to Corey Crooms for a 28 yard touchdown. The score was now 6-0.

As the clock was counting down, the Mustangs had possession of the ball. It was 4th down and the Mustangs decided to keep their offense out there to try and get the 1st down. Cam Mattox, defensive end, made sure that they couldn’t get a 1st down. The Mustangs quarterback scrambled looking for a receiver to get open but Cam Mattox ran with him and got the sack which caused the Mustangs to turn over the ball.

Still in the first quarter, the Hawks now had possession of the ball. Quarterback, Rocky Griffin, threw a darting pass to wide receiver, Nick Lindley, which he then ran for a 51 yard touchdown. Now the score is 12-0.

In the second quarter, the Hawks put up 20 points. The Hawks defense was doing their job, making sure that the Mustangs wouldn’t score. In the third quarter, the Mustangs still didn’t put any points. The Hawks put 14 points.

Lastly, in the fourth quarter the Hawks only put up 6 points. As the clock came to an end, the final score was 52-0.

I knew from the beginning of the game that the Hawks were going to win. This was the Hawks very first shutout win. The Hawks scored 7 passing touchdowns. Rocky Griffin, QB, threw the ball for 246 yards.The Hawks passing was amazing, averaging 24.6 yards a pass. Now on the rushing side, the Hillcrest Hawks had 19 carries throughout the game which created 145 total rushing yards. There was 1 rushing touchdown. 

With a great coaching staff and great players, great things could happen. On the defensive side, the Hawks had 49 total tackles. There was 31 solo tackles and 18 assists. The Hawks got 11 sacks against the Mustangs. For special teams, Hawks had 2 returns averaging 39.0 yards. Hawks had a total of 78 yards for punt returns and a total of 78 yards for kick off return. The Hawks did everything they could against this team. They blocked out all the noise people were talking about them and played their hearts out.

Hillcrest Hawks football is a good and disciplined team.