By Dan Ramey
The Hartley Hawks have won back-to-back state titles for a reason. Sure, they’re fundamentally sound and rarely make mistakes… but the biggest difference is just that. They’re BIG.
The Cavs could only come as close as 14-7 in the first half on a 5-yard touchdown by Branden Maughmer. The rest was muscle, resulting in a 44-7 final.
Hartley’s tight foot-to-foot alignment by their frontline (pictured) left no creases for defensive penetration. Tack on to that tackles Paddy Gilliland (6-6, 305) and Ethan Amya (6-3, 290) plus bruising fullback Nick Cone (6-4, 225) blocking for Alexander Blackmon (5-11, 220)… well, sooner or later, they just wear opposing defenses down.
The Hawks doubled the Cavs’ offensive output (385-190 total yards) and for a second straight week, the Chillicothe passing game was limited. It was already hampered by injury and reaching to second and third team receivers.
Survival was a major consideration for Coach Ron Hinton entering the matchup.
Hartley answered Chillicothe’s only score with a big pass by Anthony Carfagna to Jordan Kirkbride. Despite pressure and hands in his face, Carfagna his tight end in stride 40 yards downfield and the big bodied Kirkbride dragged Cavaliers another 15 yards to the Cavs’ 25 yard line. A couple of plays later, Blackmon plunged in for a 1-yard run, the second of his four TDs on the night and a 21-7 lead headed into the break.
"The execute their offense well, they have an excellent defense" said Coach Hinton. "They just smothered us defensively. We couldn't get our passing game goin' cause they just bash up on the outside and they're just better than us."
The Hawks frustrated the Cavaliers all night. "They're built to just line up and power and beat the thump out of ya."
Hartley had the Cavs on their heels most of the night. The Hawks scored 23 points in the third quarter. A score was set up by an interception and another by a blocked punt.
The Cavs (2-2) wrap up non-league play this Friday, hosting Logan (1-3). The Chieftains were dropped by Sheridan Friday.
Cavalier opponents after Week 4:
Teays Valley (2-2) defeated Bloom Carroll Thursday, 55-20 … Licking Heights (3-1) took Heath 42-6 … Marion Franklin (3-1) beat Africentric … Hillsboro(3-1) crushed Williamsburg throttled 57-6 … McClain (0-4) dropped a 28-14 decision to East Clinton … Miami Trace (0-4) fell to Clinton Massie 55-6 … Washington CH (2-2) lost at Delaware Hayes 38-6 and Jackson (4-0) took Western Brown 49-20.