If you're a fan of offense, last Friday's conference match-up in Annandale was the place to be. Hayfield would need every one of their 50 points to claim the outright Gunston District Championship. The 50-43 victory over Annandale marked Hayfield's seventh district title in school history, posting a 4-0 record against Annandale, Mount Vernon, T.C. Williams, and West Potomac.
The game featured five lead changes, two ties, and scores on 13 of 17 possessions. The Hawks would again rely on Senior Brian Cobbs to get the ball into the hands of Hayfield's dynamic receiving core, completing 21 of 27 passes for 309 yards and four touchdowns.
The Atoms opening possession would be an indicator of things to come for Hayfield's run defense, who would surrender over 300 yards on the ground, by driving 80 yards on 12 plays to grab the early 7-0 lead. After a 70 yard kickoff return from Cobbs (SR) set the Hawks up deep in Atoms territory, a pursuing Atoms defender two plays later would cause an errant Cobbs (SR) pass to be intercepted. Fortunately for the Hawks, the Atoms were unable to replicate their earlier drive and punted. Cobbs (SR) would find the human wrecking ball, Senior Travis Williams, on a 20 yard touchdown to draw the score even at 7-7.
Annandale would respond, in a more methodical way, by driving 95 yards on 14 plays and score on a 3 yard run, retaking the lead 14-7 with 9:29 remaining in the 2nd quarter. On Hayfield's next possession, Cobbs (SR) would find all of his weapons, Tim Wiggins (JR), Trevor Gleason (SO), and Williams (SR), through the air and then used his feet on a 19 yard touchdown. The extra point would be no good, leaving the Hawks trailing 13-14. Another 14 play 63 yard drive by Annandale not only extended their lead to 21-13, but was also gassing Hayfield's defense in the process.
Cobbs (SR) wasted no time finding a wide open Rayjuon Pringle (JR) on a 44 yard touchdown and then capped it off with a run on the two-point conversion, equalizing the score 21-21 with 1:57 in the 2nd quarter. After a holding penalty set back the Atoms, the Hawks would use their timeouts in order to get one more chance before halftime. On what seemed to be another miracle tipped touchdown pass to Pringle (JR), the Atoms were saved by a questionable offensive pass interference call. Hayfield would head to the locker room tied in a battle, with district bragging rights on the line.
In the second half, both teams knew whoever blinked first might be on the losing end of this shootout. After Hayfield received the kickoff, Cobbs (SR) lead the offense 60 yards on 9 plays, including a perfect 5/5 passing, to find Williams (SR) on a 4 yard jump pass. The 28-21 Hayfield lead would not last long, a 12 play 68 yard drive by Annandale and an accidental two-point conversion gave them a 29-28 lead with 4:35 in the 3rd quarter. Fortunately for Hayfield, the offense was clicking on all cylinders, and Cobbs (SR) found the endzone on a 4 yard run, and added the two point conversion to regain a 7 point lead, 36-29.
Senior Stephen King would make Annandale blink first, finding his way into the backfield with two consecutive tackle for losses, forcing the Atoms to punt. Cobbs (SR) would find Senior Jevon Pailin on the very next play for a 76 yard strike blowing the score open to 43-29. Annandale however was not going anywhere, they drove 71 yards on 14 plays, found another accidental two-point conversion, and brought the game within six points, 43-37 with 7:16 in the 4th quarter.
Tantamount to a closer in baseball, the Hawks called on the services of running back Senior Kylan Booker to milk clock and pick up chunks of yards in the process. Booker (SR) was able to find a running lane and scored on a 25 yard touchdown, extending the lead 50-37 with 5:13 in the 4th quarter. Annandale would score again on a 10 play drive and attempt the onside kick, but was unsuccessful. Booker (SR) gained another first down and the battle was over, 50-43.
Friday's win was the first over the Atoms since 2005 and the Hawks led the overall series 10-6. Hayfield is currently tied for 3rd in the Occoquan Region playoff standings, however the seeding and opponent for next week's playoff game will not be known until late Friday night.
Next up: @ Oakton (2-7) | Friday, November 3 | 7:00 pm
Hayfield 50, Annandale 43