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Hawks win 2nd title in a row, Central Dauphin improbable season ends with loss (Gallery) @CDRamsFootball @SJPREP

Written by: on Sunday, December 8th, 2019


Rumor had it this St. Joe’s team could be beat.  Even this reporter said it. After all, they were missing their starting quarterback, Kyle McCord, a junior and OSU commit. Also missing was future Clemson star Jeremiah Trotter Jr. on defense. They didn’t have Anthony Rightley, a standout wide receiver and defensive back. Their back up quarterback, Malik Cooper, was a wide receiver until just a few weeks ago.  They haven’t dominated teams in the playoffs. Their last three opponents, Northeast, Nazareth and Central Catholic all battled with the Hawks and the Vikings were 8 seconds from sending them home without a chance to win back to back titles. But thanks to a fantastic Marvin Harrison catch, here they were. Facing the hometown Central Dauphin Rams. A team that has looked like a title contender. The team that took down an undefeated State College in Happy Valley. They knocked out season long favorite Manheim Township. Perennial powerhouse Harrisburg, a team that battled the Hawks in last years 6A title game, TWICE. Downingtown west, no problem.

Kathy Leister Gallery click Picture

That’s the thing about rumors though. They’re all talk. St. Joes came out firing from the start and Central Dauphin made too many mistakes in a game that needed to be flawless, and the Hawks walked away with the 2019 6A title with a  35-13 win. Kolbe Burrell ran for 190 yards and 2 tds to lead the Hawks to victory.  “I can’t do nothing without my line. I been running behind those guys for four years. I know their tendencies, what they’re thinking, what they’re reading and where they’re going. Without them, I’m nothing” said Burrell of his excellent performance.

Harrison Jr also came up big for the Hawks once again, snagging a pass that was a bit too high from the “still a little green” quarterback and dodging would be tacklers, shifting and sprinting his way to the endzone giving the Hawks a 21-0 lead at the start of the second quarter.

The “hometown” crowd let out a huge cheer in the third quarter when Timmy Smith sprinted 19 yards to the enzone in the third quarter to give the Rams hope, but that light was quickly dashed just a few plays later when Burrell burst down the left side for a 55 yard score, a play that put too many points between a comeback win and a loss for the Rams. “I’m very proud of this team and it’s a team that will be remembered for a long time around here” said Central Dauphin Head Coach Glen McNamee. “Nobody gave us a chance at the beginning of the year. The way this team came together at the end of the season. The way our quarterback Mosey matured as a player, I’m proud of these guys.  We’ll let this sting a day or two and then we’ll get back to work.

“For us, it’s next man up.  Malik has done everything we’ve asked of him, and he’s embraced that role” said Hawks Coach Tim Roken. “This just means a lot to us after everything we’ve been through this year. We had to have a lot of “next man up” mentality all year. That’s a team effort out there. We gave up a few on extra teams there but we made up for it there with that blocked punt at the beginning of the game, that was huge. I wish we’d have capitalized when we recovered that opening kick off but it all worked out.” With 4:30 to play in the third quarter and the Rams lined up to punt and only trailing by 7, Maurice Clark scooped up a blocked punt and returned it 15 yards.  “That one seemed to take a bit of wind out of their sails” said Roken.

Burrell closed out the scoring for the Hawks with a 9 yard run to put the game out of reach with just over 7 minutes to play. “He’s just matured so much. We’ll miss him but the key his he’s been able to mentor these younger kids like Barlow. He’s learned so much from guys like Deandre Swift, he has Marcus Mason to learn from so here we just pass it on.”



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