SMYRNA—In a pivotal region 4-6A game, the Red Hawks of Stewarts Creek defeated the Siegel Stars 27-13 to improve to 4-4 overall and 2-1 in region play on Friday night.
A win is always important to get on Friday nights, but this win meant a little more as Stewarts Creek clinched a playoff spot.
“A region game where both of us are still battling for a playoff berth coming off fall break, and a tough loss to Rockvale where we did not play our best football, I’m just proud of the effort our guys had tonight,” Stewarts Creek coach Ben Caudill said.
The Red Hawks took a 14-0 lead at the half behind the play-making of junior Quarterback Gage Hoover as he contributed to both Red Hawks first half touchdowns—one on the ground and one through the air.
The Siegel offense moved the football down the field and got within three yards of the goal line in the first half. However, the Stars offense couldn't finish the drive as they were stopped on fourth and goal.
“We made too many mistakes.” Siegel coach Adam Renshaw said.
On the next play the defense gave up a huge 81-yard pass from Hoover to wide receiver Nathan Hampton. Three plays later Hoover found Tayden Mounivong from 24 yards out to take a 21-0 lead midway through the third quarter.
However, Siegel sophomore Thomas Santel got the Stars on the board with a quarterback sneak. Early in the fourth, Santel score again for his second rushing touchdown to cut the Red Hawks lead to eight at 21-13
“I was really proud of our kids," Renshaw. "They could’ve laid down, but they didn’t. They fought back and did a great job in the second half.”
A wild sequence occurred in the fourth when Stewarts Creek’s Upton Bellenfant attempted field goal to put the game away got blocked by the Stars, and it seemed the Stars were continuing to gain the momentum.
However, Mounivong made the heads-up play to pick up the football and gained a first down to keep the Red Hawks drive alive. A couple plays later Mounivong put the game away with a 17-yard rushing touchdown that propelled the Red Hawks to the 27-13 victory.
“We (Siegel) were struggling to get back into the ball game, but we did," Renshaw said. "We blocked a kick and the ball bounces right back in their hands. Just an unfortunate play for us.”
“We’ve lost four games to COVID the past two years, and sometimes you just need the ball to bounce your way.” Caudill added.