Longhorns wear down Hawks, 42-21

Matthew Rutherford, Sports Editor

The Hawks had the privilege of playing at AT&T Stadium for the third straight year, but were blown out by a good Cedar Hill team that was fifth in the state and reached the 5A Division II state championship game last year.

The Hawks’ offense struggled the entire game, especially since workhorse running back Treyvon Hughes was held to only 90 yards rushing and didn’t score a single touchdown. In fact, the offense scored just one touchdown, and that came from senior Jamal Adams on a 24-yard run on a crazy reverse play that caught the Cedar Hill defense off guard. The passing game was nearly non-existent, as senior quarterback Carson Proffitt completed only four passes for 37 yards. Proffitt threw an interception in the third quarter that gave Cedar Hill great field position and eventually lead to a Longhorn touchdown that put them up 35-7 and sealed the win. The Hawks offense had many three-and-outs during the game that didn’t allow the defense to get any rest. This eventually wore the defense down as Cedar Hill’s fast-moving offense was just too much to handle. The inability to establish the run and move the ball on offense is what caused the Hawks to lose this game. Hebron also had only 10 first downs the entire game compared to Cedar Hill’s 26, which allowed the Longhorns to hold on to the ball for the majority of the game.

The defense had a rough night as well, giving up the most points they’ve allowed all season in a game. Junior Cedar Hill receiver Damarkus Lodge had four touchdown catches in the first half, completely shredding a Hebron secondary that locked down LD Bell just a week ago. Lodge even burned standout safety Adams on one of his four touchdown grabs. The defense looked dazed and groggy when Lodge hauled in his fourth touchdown with less than 10 seconds remaining  in the second quarter and put the Longhorns up 28-7 at halftime. The defense only forced one punt the entire game, but that came late in the game and was too little too late. The only glimmer of hope for the Hawks came in the third quarter when Cedar Hill was looking like it was about to score its sixth touchdown of the game. Then the unthinkable happened. A Cedar Hill running back was surrounded by Hebron defenders as he pushed his way to the 4-yard line, but before he was dragged down, senior linebacker Gavin Greenberg stripped the ball and ran it back 96 yards for a Hawks touchdown. That put the score at 35-21 Cedar Hill and got the Hebron crowd fired up as momentum seemed to be in the Hawks’ favor for the first time all game. After senior Gavin Burford got a sack and forced the first Cedar Hill punt of the game, it seemed like the Hawks would make a comeback. Unfortunately, the offense sputtered once again when they got the ball and were forced to punt it away. The Hawks looked like they caught a break when Cedar Hill’s punt returner muffed the punt, but the punt team was penalized for an illegal formation and all momentum went away as Cedar Hill scored on that drive to go up 42-21 with six minutes left in the fourth quarter.

Adams showed off his kick returning skills as he scored yet another special teams touchdown on a 78-yard kickoff return in the second quarter. Other than that, explosive plays were minimal for the Hawks as the team watched their season end a few weeks earlier than they had wanted to. The team will lose 16 starting players as they head into next season, which will most likely be a rebuilding year as many underclassmen will have varsity experience for the first time next year. Nonetheless, the Hawks played tremendously this year and made it to the second round of the playoffs for the first time since 2008, an accomplishment that they should all be proud of.

Final Score: Cedar Hill 42 Hebron 21. Hawks finish the season 8-4, 4-1 in district play