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Hawks knock off Columbia for second time this season

Green Hill always seemed to have the answer in their second round win over Columbia Friday.
The Lions would strike, and the Hawks would come right back. Fortunately for Green Hill, they were able to cash in with touchdowns each time, and bested Columbia 21-17 to move onto the quarterfinals of the Class 5A State Tournament.
This isn’t the first time the two teams had met. Earlier in the season, the Lions made the same road trip and came away with the same result, though a little more in the Hawks favor at 28-14.
Columbia came out ready to play as the rain steadily poured the entire first half. They forced a three-and-out on Green Hill’s first drive and marched right down the field on their first. The Lions got into the red zone, but a fumble on the first play in the zone set them back. They couldn’t recover, but Max Patton connected on a 27-yard field goal.
Green Hill got their first answer on their next possession leading a long drive down the field. Quarterback Cade Mahoney capped it off finding tight end Braiden Staten over the middle for an 11-yard score, making it 7-3 after Sam Crickmar’s extra point with 10:56 left in the second quarter.
After a couple of defensive stands by both teams, Columbia got a big break when Malik Smith read a pass play perfectly, broke in front of the Hawks receiver and took the ball 35 yards for the second Lions score. The snap was bobbled on the extra point, so the lead was 9-7 with 3:17 left in the half.
Needing another answer, the Hawks found one. They marched right down the field and Mahoney made up for the interception by taking off from the 20-yard line, breaking through some Lions defenders, then diving and hitting the pylon with just 10 seconds left in the half. Crickmar’s extra point was good, and the Hawks led 14-9 at the break.
Columbia got the ball first to start the second half, and once again took the lead. Green Hill had forced a third down at the 24-yard line, but Luke Uselton threw a strike to the end zone and found Q Martin for the score. Uselton then found Jason Hoath on the two-point conversion to make it 17-14 with 7:10 left in the third quarter.
Once again, Green Hill answered. Columbia forced a third down on the drive, but Mahoney pitched it ahead on the jet sweep to Kaleb Carver to pick up the 13-yard gain. Brax Lamberth would cap off the drive with a 1-yard plunge into the end zone, making it 21-17 with 2:26 left in the third quarter.
The fourth quarter belonged to the defenses, as neither team got points. Late in the game, Columbia was driving for the go ahead score but Green Hill essentially ended it with sacks on third and fourth down by Anthony Kilmon and Zach Hoekstra. The Hawks needed one first down to run out the clock, and on third down they got it when Carver took it around the edge for eight yards, sending the Hawks into the victory formation. Columbia did a good job slowing down Lamberth and Carver, so Mahoney filled the void. He had 90 yards on 12 carries, and threw for another 97 yards.
Green Hill (11-1) will now move on to face Page (11-1) in the quarterfinals. The Patriots are led by 5A Mr. Football Semifinalist and Colorado State commit Quarterback Jake McNamara. The Hawks will host Page Friday with a kickoff at 7 p.m.