LAVERGNE — In the year of the wild and strange of 2020, another week of high school football and another lighting delay, the Green Hill Hawks traveled to LaVergne’s Freedom Field to take on the Wolverines last Thursday night.
The fans were barely settled in when with 4:20 remaining in the first quarter the teams and spectators were removed from the field due to lighting in the area. The delay lasted over two hours.
After the delay, the Wolverines’ Ray Banner carried the load, running for 275 yards on 37 carries as LaVergne defeated Green Hill 27-7 in the Hawks’ first-ever game.
“ I am proud of the kids; they fought all the way to the end,” said Green Hill head coach Josh Crouch. “No scrimmages or spring practice, and we only had one false-start penalty. We preach being a disciplined football team.”
Before the delay the game was defensive standoff as both offenses gained to find any traction.
Green Hill was held to three punts while LaVergne punted once and had one turnover on it’s first two possessions.
Banner went straight to work after the delay as on the next Wolverines possession he carried the ball on nine of the 10 plays, including the first score of the night, a 5-yard touchdown run.
The Hawks immediately came back on offense, as Cameron Morvac broke off a 37-yard run to put the Hawks deep into Wolverine territory. However the drive stalled and kicker Andrew Berkon’s 44-yard field-goal attempt was no good.
On the next play for the Wolverines, Banner gained 50 yards to move the ball into Hawks territory. But the Green Hill defense rose up and forced a 27-yard field-goal attempt that was partially blocked at the line to keep the score at 6-0.
Just before halftime, the Hawks got a spark from their passing game. Quarterback Clayton Nordstrom and wide receiver Marzeion Jones connected on passes of 28 and 25 yards to put the ball at the LaVergne 36-yard line. But on the next pass attempt, Nordstrom was intercepted by Isaiah Banner at the 2-yard line.
“Marzeion is one of our playmakers, and we need to get the ball to our playmakers in space,” said Crouch.
Since the lighting delay was over two hours, halftime only lasted three minutes.
And just like after the previous delay, Banner went to work, scoring his second touchdown of the game, this one from 5 yards out. However on this drive he had help from his quarterback, Lavandrea Webb, who ran for a 36-yard gain, and then threw the two-point conversion to increase the Wolverines’ lead to 14-0.
The turnover bug then bit the Hawks once again, as Nordstrom was sacked and fumbled. The ball was recovered by Jaden Kennedy at theHawks’ 35-yard line. Banner and Webb led the attack again as Webb completed all three of his passes on the drive and Banner carried the ball five times for 21 yards, including the final yard for the touchdown to increase the lead to 21-0.
After Jones gave Green Hill great field position with a 50-yard kickoff return, the Hawks offense again started out their drive behind the running of Morvac, and then was aided by a substitution penalty on LaVergne. On fourth-and-9 at the Wolverines 14-yard line history was made for Green Hill as Nordstrom connected with Jones on a fade route for not only the Hawks’ first-ever score. Berkon’s extra point cut the lead to 21-7.
LaVergne then put the finishing touches on the win as they drove 78 yards in 13-plays that took over 7 1/2 minutes as backup quarterback Cedric Cartwright scored from 5 yards out.
LaVergne outgained Green Hill 354 yards to 163, including 333 on the ground.
“I was proud of how our defense was able to make stops inside our 30-yard line,” said Crouch.
This week, the Hawks will open their new home stadium against Gallatin. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Friday.