Hawks Win In 4OT Classic at Fleetwood
by Jim Burkman, SPOTLIGHT ON BERKS SPORTS
On Friday night, at Fleetwood, the host Tigers honored their seniors before taking on the Hamburg Hawks. Both teams entered the game with 1-2 records in Section II.
Fleetwood did not waste any time getting on the board. They received the opening kickoff and promptly drove 77 yards on ten plays in 4:44. The score came on a Tanner Maddocks (15-35, 257 yards, 5 TDs) 28-yard pass to Wes McCalpine (5 catches, 88 yards, 1 TD). Wes Seaman’s kick gave the Tigers a quick 7-0 lead.
The teams traded the next two possessions without scoring. Hamburg started their second possession on their own nine-yard line. After gaining 26 yards on two plays, the Hawks fumbled. Fleetwood recovered the loose ball at Hamburg’s 31-yard line. On the second play, Gavin Morris (6 rushes, 49 yards, 1 TD) ran for a 31-yard touchdown. Seaman’s kick gave the Tigers a 14-0 lead with 2:33 remaining in the first quarter.
On the ensuing kickoff, Diohnny Ruiz (18 carries, 134 yards, 2 TDs) fielded the ball at his own 10-yard line and took it 90 yards to get Hamburg on the board. Nicholas Hix added the extra point to make the score 14-7.
After three straight incompletions, Fleetwood punted, and Hamburg took over on their seven-yard line. The Hawks proceeded to drive 93 yards on 16 plays (14 runs), converted four third downs, and take 8:49 off the clock. They scored when Ruiz ran in from four yards out. Hix’s kick tied the score at 14 with 4:54 left in the half.
Fleetwood’s Owen Maddocks (8 catches, 145 yards, 3 TDs) put the Tigers in great field position by returning the kickoff to Hamburg’s 40-yard line. But after four straight incompletions, the last being a failed fake punt attempt, the Hawks took over with all the momentum on their side.
Hamburg needed only eight plays (seven runs), and a defensive pass interference penalty to drive 60 yards and take the lead. Mitchell Watt ran it in from the two. Hix kicked the PAT, and the Hawks led 21-20 with 1:14 to play until halftime.
Fleetwood used a quick strike to score on the final play of the half. It took five plays for the Maddocks brothers to connect on the first of three TDs in the game. Owen snagged a Tanner pass and ran for a 45-yard score as the clock hit zero. The Hawks jumped offside on the PAT, moving the ball to the one-and-a-half-yard line. Fleetwood opted to try for two, but failed. Hamburg took a 21-20 lead into the locker rooms.
Hamburg started the second half by running the ball six times for 56 yards and a score. Tristan Baer (24 carries, 120 yards, 3 TDs) scored the first of his three second-half touchdowns by going the final three yards of the possession. Hix kicked the PAT and increased the Hawks lead to 28-20.
Fleetwood’s Matthew Pierce took the kickoff 80 yards for a Tiger touchdown. A botched snap on the PAT left the score at 28-26 Hamburg.
Hamburg went three and out on their next possession. McCalpine returned the punt 48 yards to the Hamburg 37. Fleetwood needed only four plays to regain the lead as the Maddocks duo connected again. This time it was from 27 yards away. A failed two-point attempt made the score Fleetwood 32-28 with 5:19 to play in the third quarter.
The Hawks started their next possession at their own eight-yard line. They had nine consecutive rushes, gained 56 yards and took 6:23 off the clock. They were faced with a fourth and six from Fleetwood’s 36-yard line. Xander Menapace’s pass was intercepted by Tanner Maddocks who returned the ball all the way to the Hamburg 14-yard line.
Hamburg’s defense stood strong and forced a field goal attempt. Seaman converted from 31 yards to boost Fleetwood’s lead to 35-28 with 9:21 remaining in the fourth quarter.
The Hawks would not go quietly. They drove 12 plays for 56 yards and took 6:48 to score a touchdown. A huge play on the drive was converting a fourth and 14 from Fleetwood’s 23-yard line with a gutsy inside handoff to Ruiz, who scampered 15 yards for the first down. The touchdown came on a Menapace to Baer four-yard pass. Hix converted the PAT and we were knotted at 35 with 2:33 remaining.
The Tigers tried to muster a game-winning drive. After five plays they had the ball at Hamburg’s 45-yard line. Maddocks thought he put his Tigers in position to win the game with a long completion to McCalpine at the Hawks 11-yard line with only 20 seconds to play, but it was called back by a holding penalty. So, the game went to overtime.
Hamburg had the first OT possession. Fleetwood’s defense kept the Hawks from converting a fourth and goal and handed the ball to their offense. After three plays gave the Tigers a fourth and goal from the one-yard line, Seaman’s potential game-winning kick was blocked.
Fleetwood started OT number two. A Maddocks’ intentional grounding penalty forced the Tigers into a third and goal situation from the 30-yard line. Never afraid, the Maddocks brothers connected for a long score. Seaman’s PAT put the Tigers up 42-35.
An unsportsmanlike conduct call against Fleetwood allowed Hamburg to start their possession at the five-yard line. On the first play, Baer galloped in untouched for the touchdown. Hix kicked the PAT and we were going to a third OT tied at 42.
Hamburg needed only two plays to score in the third OT. Baer rushed in from four yards away. Hix converted the extra point to give Hamburg a 49-42 lead.
Fleetwood also only needed two plays to score. Maddocks hit Gage Moyer for a 10-yard touchdown reception. Seaman kicked the PAT to tie the game 49-49 and send us to a fourth OT.
The Tigers had the first possession in the fourth OT. An incomplete pass on fourth down gave the ball to the Hawks with an attempt to win the game. Hamburg wasted no time. On first down, Ruiz scampered around the left end and dove into the endzone, setting off a crazy victory mob for the Hawks. Hamburg beat Fleetwood 55-49 in the first-ever 4OT high school football game in Berks County history.
All totaled, Hamburg controlled the ball for more than 33 of the 48 regulation minutes and gained 359 of their 398 yards on the ground. They improved to 2-2 on the season and travel to Twin Valley next week.
Fleetwood gained 257 of their 322 yards through the air and dropped to 1-4 on the season. They travel to Upper Dauphin next week.
Here is a link to our Livestream of the entire game:
Here is a link to my post-game interview with Hamburg’s Diohnny Ruiz:
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