POST, TX — The No. 8 Wall Hawks traveled to Post on Friday, November 17, to take on the Childress Bobcats in the area round of the playoffs. Wall had some success on offense throughout the contest, but in the end, the Hawks' defense came through when it mattered most to ensure Wall claimed an Area Championship. The Hawks defeated Childress 21-14.
Defense was the story of the first half, as the Hawks came out swinging. Wall struck first midway through the 1st quarter when Nathan Pepper capped off a long drive with a 1-yard touchdown run. Excellent defense handed the ball back to Wall’s offense, and the Hawks took advantage. This time, quarterback Gunnar Dillard hit Kellan Oliver over the middle on a precision pass. Oliver then broke a Bobcats’ tackle and sprinted another 19 yards to the house. Wall led at the start of the 2nd quarter, 13-0.
The 2nd quarter devolved into a defensive turnover battle. First, Briggs Jones made a tight rope interception on the sideline to give Wall its first takeaway of the contest. San Angelo LIVE’s Ryan Chadwick caught up with Jones after Wall’s big win to discuss the pick.
Watch the full interview below:
Childress stepped up and forced a punt, but Wall’s defense was still hungry. Logan Thomas took advantage of a bad snap and dove on the loose football for another takeaway. Childress wouldn’t be denied and caused a fumble on the ensuing possession.
Wall’s defense held tough throughout the 2nd quarter until Childress completed its first deep pass of the ball game with less than 2:30 to play in the half. This completion set up the Bobcats inside Wall’s 10-yard line, and two plays later, Childress scored a touchdown. With little time remaining, Head Coach Guy instructed his team to kneel it out, and the Hawks headed to the locker room with a 13-7 lead at the half.
The Hawks received the 2nd half kickoff. Briggs Jones kickstarted the offense with a long run down the sideline to set Wall up inside Childress’s 20-yard line. Hard running from Nathan Pepper and Gunnar Dillard pushed the ball inside the five before Dillard finally scored the touchdown. Wall successfully scored the two-point conversion and led by 14 midway through the 3rd Quarter, 21-7.
Childress stepped up on defense in the 2nd half. After Wall scored the initial touchdown out of the break, the Bobcats locked down. Wall had several drives go nowhere and had to punt the ball away often. The Hawks returned the favor on defense. Childress struggled to move the ball on the ground and only gained yards on deep throws and penalties. Childress scored another touchdown early in the 4th Quarter after a phantom pass interference was called on Hagyn Barbee. Another short touchdown pass three plays later narrowed Wall’s lead back to one score.
Wall's offense stepped up with just over seven minutes left in the game. In typical Hawks fashion, Wall drove the ball down the field slowly and methodically. Pepper was the mainstay on this drive, acting as the workhorse, gaining several first downs on some tough sledding. The play of the game had to be on this drive.
With 3:28 remaining in the 4th quarter, the Hawks had to make a decision. With a 4th down with three yards to go, Coach Guy rolled the dice and went for the conversion. One would think Wall would keep the ball on the ground, but Guy had other plans. Dillard took the shotgun snap and threw a back-shoulder fade to Landon Beeles. Beeles turned and caught the ball in his chest, away from the defender. His feet landed in bounds, and the Hawks drive lived on.
Wall drained all but 49 seconds off the clock but turned the ball over on downs when the referees called Dillard short of the goal line on 4th and goal at the one. The defense stepped up one more time to secure the victory. Wall won another Area Championship over Childress, 21-14.
Head Coach Houston Guy gave his thoughts on his team's performance after the win. Watch the interview below:
The Hawks next head to Regionals in the third round of the playoffs. Wall will face Lubbock Roosevelt in the next round. Roosevelt defeated Crane 19-14 in their Area Round matchup. Game time and location are still to be determined.