The Have Nots
INTERLACHEN – Could’ve, should’ve, would’ve,
The Interlachen Rams could’ve beaten archrival Hawthorne here Saturday if they hadn’t come out flat.
The Rams should’ve beaten the Hornets instead of losing 30-19, except for several drive-crippling mental errors and penalties.
They would’ve beaten the visitors if they had played the first three quarters like the fourth, when they battled back from a 30-6 deficit.
“We made a lot of mistakes early,” coach Joe Szymanski said of the game played at Thompson-Baker Field here Saturday afternoon after being washed out Friday by Hurricane Hermine.
“We had a game plan to run the ball right at them and we were doing that,” he continued. “But we would get down close and have an offside or holding penalty that threw us off the plan.”
The Rams came away from those early drives with only a 28-yard field goal by Logan White.
Thanks to a pair of fumble recoveries inside their 20-yard line, the Rams escaped the first quarter trailing only 8-3.
White kicked a 30-yarder with under two minutes left in the half, but Hawthorne retaliated with a 52-yard pass and catch to make it 16-6 at intermission.
Hawthorne, playing its first game of them season, got its first touchdown on its first possession, marching methodically 40 yards on six straight rushes, and scoring on a 9-yard run by Devin Lawrence.
The Hornets second score came on a pass from senior quarterback Tazmin James to 6-foot-3 inch wide receiver Latrevious Mann. James passed to Deonte Bowie for the two-point conversion.
Interlachen running back Uveekie Fields carried the ball 15 times for 95 yards in the first half. He ran for a touchdown in the fourth quarter and ended the day with 119 yards.
“He’s a good running back with good vision and good determination,” Szymanski said of the sophomore.
Interlachen quarterback Brennan Wykoff was intercepted on the Rams’ 30 yard line on the second possession of the game, but Interlachen got the ball back quickly with a fumble recovery by T.J. Beauford.
Wykoff, who totaled 151 yards passing including one touchdown, was also picked off in the third quarter but Interlachen got the ball back on another fumble recovery two plays later.
Corey Atkins got an earlier fumble recovery on the Interlachen 15-yard line.
Fields carried the ball five times for 15 yards and Wykoff passed to Deadrell Brown for 26, but a pair of penalties killed an Interlachen drive with 3:51 left in the third quarter.
The Rams were flagged for pass interference on a fourth down later in the third quarter that set up Hawthorne’s third touchdown.
That came with a 4-yard TD pass from James to Vonte Bowie. James then threw to Ethan Kelly for two points, making it 24-6.
“That was huge, “ Szymanski said of the penalty.
The Hornets capitalized on a Fields’ fumble at the Interlachen 40, getting their last score on a 6-yard pass from James to Deonte Bowie. A conversion pass failed, leaving the score 30-6.
Interlachen came to life on its first possession of the final quarter, with Wykoff hitting Daniel Perez for 27 and 19 yards, and Brown for 15, setting up Fields’ score on a 2-yard run. A conversion pass failed, leaving the score at 30-12 with 8:28 to go.
Hawthorne lost a yard on three plays and punted.
Wykoff quickly connected with Tyler Crews for 16 yards and Perez was able to hold a 25-yard pass against his shoulder pad as he stepped into the end zone. White’s kick made it 30-19 with 6:37 left.
“Wykoff throws a good long pass,” Szymanski said, adding, “Perez is a really good athlete who gets better every game.”
Linebacker Juan Espinoza sacked the Hawthorne quarterback, forcing a punt from the Hornets’ 35 with 4:44 remaining in the game, but Interlachen couldn’t take advantage of the opportunity.
Mann’s slashing 10-yard run on a third and two at the Rams’ 29 with 1:42 left put the game away.
“They could’ve laid down (after falling behind 30-6), but they didn’t and I like that,” Szymanski said. “If they’d played them whole game like the fourth quarter, we’d have won.”
The Rams (1-1) host Crescent City (1-1) Friday.