By Steve Patterson / Moving Pictures
RED OAK – The Red Oak Hawks had not won a district game in 14 tries, but the streak ended last Friday night when they exploded for 28 points in the second half beating the Midlothian Panthers 38-27.
The Hawks drew first blood on a 30 yard FG from Edgar Perez. The Panthers reeled off two 2nd quarter touchdowns going up 14-3 as the Hawks struggled to stop the Panthers QB option out of the backfield. Red Oak finally put together a late 2nd quarter drive when Juwan Jones took it in from 1 yard out closing the gap to 14-10 as the first half ended.
The second half though, belonged to the Hawks. Although the Panthers scored first in the 3rd quarter, the Hawks took control at that point both defensively and offensively.
Red Oak ran through Midlothian’s defense as RB Dee Johnson amassed 172 yards rushing, averaging 8.6 yards/carry. Johnson also had a touchdown. Hawks QB Chris Bugg also had a great night, throwing for 176 yards including two touchdowns. Bugg’s offensive line provided protection and opened huge running lanes. The Hawks main receiving core had an outstanding game, with Brock Houston leading the group with 4 catches and 57 yards, followed by Jordan Munoz with 6 catches for 56 yards and 2 touchdowns, Hunter Smith with 4 catches for 32 yards, and Jake Latimer with 3 catches for 29 yards. Although total rushing yards by each team were nearly equal, it was truly the tale of two halves.
Just as impressive as the Hawks offense was, their defense was equally as impressive, especially midway through the 3rd quarter. The Hawks all but shut down the Panthers running game. Red Oak got some much need help in the secondary as Hunter Smith returned from injury. Smith had a touchdown saving pass knock-down at the goal line forcing a Panthers punt. The Hawks linebacking crew was flying to every ball every play. The Panthers scored a late 4th quarter touchdown with less than a minute to play bringing the score to 38-27, but a failed 2-point conversion and failed on-side kick attempt allowed the Hawks to assume their victory formation and Chris Bugg taking a knee to end the game.
The Hawks have an opportunity to play spoiler next week when they travel to Mansfield and play the Legacy Broncos. A win over the Broncos (5-1) could really shake things up in District 10-5A and end the season on a high note.