The Augustus Hawkins Hawks football team only had one more game to win to earn their first City Section Championship. However, the defense of the Los Angeles High School Romans silenced the Hawks, leading the Romans to a 36-6 victory in the Division II City Section Championship. The Hawks played without wide receiver Joseph Lewis, who was injured.
“Our defense wasn’t playing well all year long,” said Los Angeles head coach Eric Scott. “Throughout the playoffs, we only given up 12 points.”
The first quarter started slow for both teams, full of incomplete passes and running plays with no gain of yards. Hawkins was at the Romans’ 40-yard line when quarterback Dylan Lemle sent a deep pass to wide receiver Eric Fuller Jr., leading the Hawks into L.A. High’s two-yard line.
With a pass to wide receiver Greg Johnson, the Hawkins was first to etch the scoreboard with a six-point play.
The Romans struck back immediately with a strong punt return by wide receiver Berdale Robins, putting L.A. High at Hawkins’ 12-yard line. Running back Christopher Dormer rushed into the endzone. L.A. High attempted a two-point conversion, but failed; the game was tied 6-6 with 4:15 in the first quarter.
“I knew they were pretty good and they had a good feel for our plays,” Dormer said. “So, I had to adjust to that.”
The Hawks fumbled in their next possession, handing the ball back to the Romans. Despite a 10-yard penalty, Los Angeles continued to move down the field. A 21-yard pass pushed the Romans to Hawkins four-yard line.
At the beginning of the second quarter, Dormer pushed through Hawkins defensive line for another touchdown. With a successful two-point conversion by senior Brimm Thompson, the Romans had 14 points.
Hawkins undefeated façade continued to falter. After stopping the run of the Romans, Lemle had a pass intercepted by junior Patrick Willis Jr.
Los Angeles was in Hawkins’ red zone again, a pass to wide receiver Javon Mitchell led to another touchdown; the Romans had 20 points.
When Los Angeles regained possession, Hawkins free safety Aashari Crosswell intercepted a deep pass. The Hawks relied on passing, but could not advance.
Late in the second quarter, Los Angeles quarterback Isaiah Johnson threw a 15-yard pass into Hawkins’ end zone to Robins and the Romans scored their fourth touchdown. Another successful two-point conversion edged the Romans to 28 points before halftime.
Hawkins came close to scoring a second touchdown in the third quarter until they fumbled at the Romans’ one-yard line. Los Angeles Linemen Christopher Green Jr. recovered the ball. Neither teams scored during that period.
In the fourth quarter, Hawkins recovered a fumble from the Romans only to lose the ball in an interception two plays later.
Runs from Dormer advanced Los Angeles down the field. An interception shifted the possession back to Hawkins. The Romans defense forced four downs out of the Hawks.
Los Angeles had the ball at Hawkins 12-yard line, a touchdown rush by Dormer and a good two-point conversion by linemen Martin Andrus sealed the Romans win at 36 points.
The Romans advance to the state playoffs, battling Sierra Canyon High School at Granada Hills High School on Saturday, December 10 at 7:30 p.m.