The 2019 season may not have turned out the way the Hancock Hawks had hoped, but they ended it on a high note with a 42-28 victory on Friday over the West Harrison Hurricanes.
"I'm proud of the way we stayed the course," Hawks Head Coach Neil Lollar said. "This week's practice was just as good as the practices in week one. I'm very happy for all of the seniors who were able to go out with a win."
Leading the way for the Hawks' Friday was senior running back Sebastian Fausett, who rushed for a career-high 207 yards on 25 carries and scored three times.
The Hawks came out strong Friday and built a 21-0 lead, scoring on their first three drives.
Fausett got things going with a three-yard scoring run midway through the first quarter. Austin Hyde added the point-after to give the Hawks the early lead.
Senior Devin Laneaux thwarted the Hurricanes' next drive with a sack near midfield, and three plays later, Wyatt Ladner busted loose on a 27-yard touchdown run. Hyde's point-after made the score 14-0.
Later in the second quarter, Pierre Fowler extended the Hawks' lead to 21-0 with a five-yard scoring run.
The Hurricanes would move the ball into the Hawks' red zone prior to halftime, but Kyle Shippy intercepted a pass at the two to keep the Hurricanes off the scoreboard.
West Harrison received the second-half kickoff and finally started to get things clicking on offense.
The Hurricanes drove 75 yards on 12-plays to reach the end zone for the first time. Melvin Pickens collected the score with a five-yard run.
The Hurricanes then recovered an on-sides kick and turned it into points when Daryl Kelly scored on a two-yard run.
The Hawks recovered the next onside kick and drove 58 yards in seven plays to extend their lead.
This time, it was quarterback Sema'J Robertson who weaved through traffic for 18-yards en route to the end zone.
Hyde added the point-after to give the Hawks a 28-14 lead with 9:50 to play.
West Harrison then shocked the Hawks with a 78-yard touchdown run by Keonte Smith. Smith led the Hurricanes with 127 yards on six carries.
The point-after pulled the Hurricanes to within one score at 28-21 with just over eight minutes to play.
Hancock answered with a 51-yard scoring drive. Fausett registered the score with a bruising 13-yard run, in which he carried four defenders into the end zone.
After an interception by Tanner Lemon, Fausett added his final score on his last carry of his career, a 44-yard touchdown scamper with just over four minutes to play.
Hyde's point-after gave the Hawks a 42-21 lead.
The Hurricanes added a late touchdown when Josiah Khan scored on a three-yard run.
The Hawks recovered the onside kick, and with just a few seconds to play, Lollar decided to give one of his offensive lineman a reward.
Lollar called a play named "Jumbo Q" in which senior lineman Quentin Fowler took a handoff and rumbled 22 yards for a first down.
The game ended on the next play with a 42-28 final.
"I wanted to give the big guy a reward for all his handwork," Lollar said. "Q has been a leader for us all year."
After the game, Fowler spoke to the team and encouraged the younger players to never give up.
"This is my final game, but I'll be back next year to watch you play," Fowler told the team. "Once a Hawk, always a Hawk."