Crawford Goes Crazy, Leads Hillcrest Past Armwood Florida
The Armwood Hawks (0-1) took a 9-hour bus ride to Tuscaloosa, Al., to take on the Hillcrest Patriots (2-0) in a high profile week two matchup. The Patriots sent the Hawks home to Florida with a 35-25 loss behind the effort of star quarterback Ethan Crawford's five rushing touchdowns.
"You know, it was kind of an odd game. I don't think either one of us played exceptionally well. A lot of mistakes both ways, but a hard fought, tough, tough win over a really, really good football team. Super talented. They've got a bunch of guys that are going to play college football. We're excited to be 2-0 and most importantly we'll be ready to start region play next week," said Hillcrest head coach Jamie Mitchell.
The Patriots opened the game with a 10-play, 60-yard drive that included three Armwood offsides penalties, each resulting in a first-down. The drive was capped off with a Crawford plunge into the endzone to open the scoring.
The Hawks miscues were just beginning as running back Gee Pringle fumbled on Armwood's first offensive play and defensive lineman Terrance Grant pounced to set up the Patriots with first-and-goal from the 8-yard line.
It only took one play for the Southern Miss commit to double his rushing touchdowns for the night. Crawford dropped back to pass, saw an opening and found pay-dirt to put the Patriots up 14-0.
Armwood's subsequent drive was ended by a Collin Dunn interception but the Hillcrest offense wasn't able to capitalize, going three-and-out and returning the ball back to the Hawks.
Despite sputtering through its first two possessions quarterback Murdolph Jones III found Malik Brown for an 89-yard touchdown pass on 2nd-and-19 on the third drive to show the Hillcrest crowd exactly why they were to be respected.
Crawford and his offense responded to the Armwood lighting-strike with a big play of their own. The senior quarterback ran off the left side and found the endzone from 47-yards away for his third rushing touchdown of the first quarter.
The first half fireworks continued into the second quarter as Jones hit his second bomb of the game, this time to Pringle. The sophomore running back got loose on a wheel route on 3rd-and-10 and hauled in a 66-yard touchdown pass.
The Hawks, despite being down at halftime took its first possession of the second half right down the field and cashed in on a 1-yard touchdown dive from Pringle to make it a 2-point game. A failed extra-point, however, was the closest the visitors came to catching the Patriots.
Hillcrest responded with an 11-play, 73-yard drive, including two, too-many-men on the field penalties on 4th down on Armwood to doom the Hawks. Crawford cashed in his fourth rushing score of the night from 4-yards away to stretch the lead back out to 9 points.
Crawford scored his fifth with 6:45 left to play, capitalizing off a 59-yard Jamarian Johnson run to take the score to 35-19 and put the nail in the Armwood coffin.
Unfortunately for Hillcrest, its week 1 turnover problem reared its ugly head as the Patriots were trying to close out the game. A fumbled snap led to a Kenny Dantzler scoop-and-score for the Hawks, but the ensuing onside kick was unsuccessful and Hillcrest ran the remaining clock out.
Crawford finished his night 6-for-11 passing with 104 yards and an interception and 185 yards rushing and 5 TDs. Johnson chipped in with 112 yards rushing and Jayshon Land contributed 21 yards rushing.
Armwood's Jones was 14-of-27 for 254 yards with 2 TDs and 1 INT. He was aided by Pringle's 10 yards rushing with a touchdown and 64 yards receiving and a score.
"That's a really good football team over there. Hillcrest has got a lot to look forward to the rest of the year. I hate losing. We schedule these games because we know we're going to face adversity, boy did we," said Armwood head coach Evan Davis.
Hillcrest will open region play next week on the road against cross-town rival Northridge.
Hillcrest Vs. Armwood (FL) battle in a week 2 matchup.
Pike Road Falls to Hillcrest