Michael Hawks one-handed touchdown grab with two seconds left proved to be the difference in Friendship’s 52-49 win over DCA Friday.
DCA came into the game with a 6-1 record and sitting in second place. Friendship was right behind them in third place with a 5-2 record. The night was all offense as the two teams put up over 500 yards of offense in the first half and nearly 1,200 yards in the game.
Friendship came out hot and on the second play of the game Steven Hollis ran for 73 yards and a touchdown. Blake Grosch (who was perfect on the night for extra points) kicked the extra point and Friendship took a 7-0 lead 55 seconds into the game.
Friendship was in control of the game until on the third play of their second possession, DCA’s Shannon Fayne picked off Friendship’s A.J. Long, giving DCA a short field with the ball on the 30. A few plays later DCA’s Will Reddick hit James Douglass with a 27-yard pass. The extra point was no good and Friendship still had the lead, 7-6.
Friendship came right back as Long hit Austin Taylor for 32 yard and then rushed for 29 to take a 14-6 lead.
Friendship didn’t let up as on their next possession they marched 84 yards, with the help of a 60 yard run by Hollis, to take a 21-6 lead with 10:29 to go in the half.
It was then DCA’s turn as they quickly moved down the field, with Reddick hitting Douglass with a 17 yards pass and then Shiv Patel with a 44 yard pass for a touchdown. Friendship’s lead was now 21-13. A few minutes later, Hop Matthews ripped off a 49 yard run, setting up a Fayne for a 15 yard run to score. DCA opted for two and Fayne easily ran it in, tying the score at 21-21.
Friendship again moved the ball, but with time winding down, and a 4th-and-7 on their hands, they opted for a 24-yard FG to take a 24-21 lead at the half.
DCA wasted no time as they scored on two of the first three offensive plays of the half. Nathaniel Stewart ran for 69 yards and a TD on the first play. On the second play DCA picked off Long’s pass to get the ball back. Then Stewart ran for 74 yards and another touchdown, all in the first 51 seconds of the half. The score was now DCA 35-24.
Friendship’s next drive was all Long as he rushed for 46 yards and passed for 33 to bring FCA within four, 35-31 with four minutes to go.
DCA wasn’t done yet as they ran right plays on their next drive, which was capped by a 5 yard touchdown run by Matthews. They were now up 42-31.
Friendship wasn’t done either as with time winding down, they went 63 yards in two plays and 28 seconds to score. Hollis set up the score with a 55 yard run and Long took it in from the 5. DCA had a 42-38 lead going in to the fourth.
With six minutes left in the game, and down by four, Friendship found themselves on their own 5. On 1st-and-10, Long found a seam and took it 95 yards to take a 45-42 lead. Four plays later Reddick hit Alec Pratt with a 30 yard pass to retake the lead, 49-45, with just under four minutes to go.
Over the next 5 minutes Friendship put together their longest drive of the night. During the drive they converted on a 3rd-and-8 and a 4th-and-9 to keep the chains moving. With only seconds left, and finding themselves 4th-and-17 from the 17, down by four, Long threw the ball to the back left corner of the endzone where Hawks was able to come up with a one handed catch to win the game, 52-49.
Friendship had 477 yards rushing, led by Hollis (225) and Long was 7/18 for 138 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT. DCA had 268 yards rushing, led by Stewart (169) and Reddick was 15-29 for 280 yards and 3 touchdowns.