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