A mere two miles separate Hayfield Secondary School and Edison High School as the hawk flies (or eagle if you prefer). The closeness of our schools provide for a longstanding heated rivalry that extends well beyond football (hello basketball!). Hayfield has played Edison 37 times in the schools 50 seasons making it one of the oldest match-ups, next to Lee and Mount Vernon. The rivalry began evenly matched with each squad taking five games in the 1970s, and after Edison briefly dominated the series 6-2-2 in the 1980s, the rivalry has been anything but neighborly.
97 cents. That was the average price of gas the last time Edison defeated Hayfield, in 1989. It's safe to say that none of the athletes who played last Friday were alive the last time Edison was victorious against Hayfield, and it's possible some of their parents even played in or attended the 1989 game. There's no explaining how the Hawks have rattled off 17 straight wins against the Eagles, the streak has had its fair share of close calls including a three point win in 1997, a two point win in 2012, and a one point win in 2013. However, last Friday's contest was not one of them.
The opening possessions for both teams were impacted by self-inflicted penalties that stunted the drives. Edison's next possession would end courtesy of a sack by senior Jimmori Robinson on a 4th & 8 that would set Hayfield up at their own 49 yard line. It would take only three plays for Trevor Gleason (SO) to find Rayjuon Pringle (JR) for a 45 yard touchdown pass. On the proceeding kickoff, the Eagles would commit a special teams blunder by not fielding the ball which was promptly recovered by Kennedy Ntiamoah (SR) at the Edison 19 yard line. The Hawks would quickly cash in from a Josh Nsiah (JR) touchdown run on the first offensive play to extend the lead 14-0.
Surprisingly, Edison bounced back quickly by finding holes in Hayfield's secondary, connecting on a 45 yard touchdown to cut the score 14-7. Throughout the night Edison would find success throwing the ball, completing 18/33 for 318 yards and 2 touchdowns. Fortunately for the Hawks, they were able to stifle the Eagles ground game for -26 yards on 30 attempts.
Jalen Byers (JR) would set up the Hawks on Edison's 22 yard line after a nice 40 yard kickoff return. And like clockwork, it would take Hayfield only two plays for Monty Byers (JR) to find Brian Cobbs (SR) on a 13 yard touchdown pass to expand the lead 21-7. Edison was not about to throw in the towel, hauling in an exceptional catch in the corner of the end zone to claw back the score to 21-13 near the end of the 1st quarter. The Hawks would cough up the ball on their next possession opening the door for the Eagles to potentially tie the game. With their backs against their own end zone, the Hayfield defense had found their poise, withstanding four straight Edison plays within Hayfield's red zone.
Hayfield realized they needed to break this game open, and do it quickly. With all eyes on standout Cobbs (SR), this allowed Hayfield QB's to find other targets, including Gleason's (SO) 64 yard connection to Timreal Wiggins (JR) for the 29-13 lead with 8:08 remaining in the 2nd quarter. The next three Edison possessions would end in two punts and an interception by Joshua McCrimmon (SR). While Hayfield would answer with scores on a 20 yard run by Jevon Pailin (SR), a jailbreak 92 yard run by Nsiah (JR), and a 15 yard pass between M. Byers (JR) and Travis Williams (SR). The momentum was clearly in Hayfield's favor heading into halftime up 49-13.
Noticeable to fans in attendance, the culmination of yellow laundry (22 accepted penalties for 242 yards), injuries (which saw an injured player who was secured to a gurney by Fairfax County Fire and Rescue jump off in hopes to remain with his team), and timeouts lead to a 65 minute 1st quarter and 62 minute 2nd quarter.
Fortunately, with a running clock in the second half, the 3rd and 4th quarters lasted only 18 and 20 minutes, respectively. The Hawks would find the end zone only one more time, on a 25 yard scamper by QB Jacqui Bailey (JR). Defensively, Robinson (SR) would collect his second sack, and Kobe Griffin (JR) would find a gift interception that fell off the fingertips of an Edison receiver. It's hard to know exactly what you'll see during a Bird Bowl, but it's a safe bet to mark your calendars for the next one: August 31, 2018.
Next up: @ Fairfax (2-1) | Friday, September 15 | 7:00 pm
Hayfield 55, Edison 13
Hayfield’s season opening 55-10 victory over Chantilly featured a host of firsts. The win was the first against Chantilly, who held a commanding 7-0 series lead over Hayfield. The Hawks actually defeated the Chargers 17-14 back in 1975, but were forced to forfeit the win due to an ineligible player. The 55-10 victory featured the most points scored against Chantilly and the fewest points allowed against a Hayfield defense in the series. Trevor Gleason was the first sophomore to start a game for the Hawks at QB since Ellis Knudson in 2011. And it’s reported that Elly Gorham became the first female player to score points for the Hawks after splitting 2/3 PATs between the uprights.
Chantilly won the coin toss but deferred to Hayfield’s high-flying offense to start the game. Gleason (SO) navigated the offense down the field completing 3/3 passes for 55 yards in his varsity debut, connecting with WR Jevon Pailin (SR) for a touchdown on a 38 yard flea flicker to take the 6-0 lead. The Hawks defense would stifle most of the Chargers attempts to get drives going throughout the game, but the Hawks offense also faced early cobwebs in the 1st quarter. Gleason (SO) showed his rookie stripes on the next two offensive possessions that ended in interceptions leading to a 38 yard field goal by Chantilly, necessitating Monty Byers (JR) to step in to get the offense rolling.
M. Byers (JR) would find the end zone on a one yard run after starting the drive at the Chantilly 25 yard line to take the 12-3 lead. On the next offensive possession, M. Byers (JR) would use his shifty athleticism on a 4th & 3 to find a wide open Kylan Booker (SR) for a seven yard touchdown. Human football magnet – and University of Maryland commit – WR Brian Cobbs (SR) would add the 2PT reception from M. Byers (JR) to expand the lead 20-3 late in the 2nd quarter. Earlier in the drive, Cobbs (SR) seemed invincible on an 11 yard reception that took six Chantilly defenders to bring him down.
After another three-and-out stop by the defense, Gleason (SO) reentered the game with 2:31 remaining in the 2nd quarter. No word on what pep talk was given after the rookie QB threw two interceptions, but it worked. Gleason (SO) would throw a perfect 9/9 for 111 yards and 3 touchdowns for the remainder of the game. The last offensive drive before halftime Gleason (SO) would connect with Cobbs (SR) on an eight yard touchdown and 2PT conversion to put Hayfield in a commanding 28-3 lead.
Hayfield’s first offensive position of the second half would have similar results with Gleason (SO) connecting with Cobbs (SR) on a six play-65 yard drive in 91 seconds to put the Hawks up 35-3. Chantilly would finally reach the end zone on a one yard run in their next position to close the gap 35-10. The penalty marred drive (although rightly called) saw Chantilly gain nine offensive yards and 47 penalty yards. It would be the last time they light up the scoreboard.
Senior Stephen King would make a name for himself during the next two drives on both sides of the ball by collecting a 12 yard touchdown from Gleason (SR) and then blocking a punt and returning it for 20 yards to set the Hawks up in the Chargers red zone. Booker (SR) would earn his second touchdown of the day on an 11 yard run to put Hayfield up 48-10 with 11:34 remaining in the 4th quarter.
At this stage, many backups entered the game, including QB Jacqui Bailey (JR), who would throw 2/2 for 17 yards and a touchdown to WR Tim Drummond (JR). More research is needed, but it’s been at least a decade since three Hayfield QB’s threw a touchdown in the same game.
Next up: vs. Edison (0-1) | Friday, September 1 | 7:00 pm
Hayfield 55, Chantilly 10