‘Celebration’ by Kool and the Gang echoed throughout the stadium as the Green Hill players ran to their end of the end zone. The Hawks had just beaten county foe Wilson Central 27-20 and everyone on the field and in the home stands wearing green couldn’t contain their excitement.
It was a game that ultimately came down to the final few drives between a pair of unbeaten county rivals. Add in the mix that former Green Hill offensive coordinator Ben Kuhn was on the opposite sideline now coaching the Wildcats, the night had a little bit of everything.
The evening started with Kuhn and the Hawks coaches embracing on the field. It ended just the same with a pair of teams who seemed to have mutual respect for each other following four hard quarters.
“Coach Kuhn’s done a great job over there,” Green Hill coach Josh Crouch said. “The thing is that Wilson County won tonight. It was a good football game with two good teams playing.”
Hawks’ defense rises to the occasion in the second half
The night started off with a bang on the defensive side of the ball for Green Hill. On the first play from scrimmage, the Hawks forced and recovered a fumble. That fumble recovery led to six points a play later as Aaron Mattingly hauled in a reception off a double pass for six.
From there though Wilson Central found some steam thanks to its rush game. The Wildcats took the lead on the next possession as Antaun McKethan found some daylight. Midway through the second quarter, the Wildcats upped that lead to seven behind a 47-yard run from Ethan Kimes.
Not particularly happy with how they performed at times defensively, the Hawks came out looking like a new team in the second half.
Wilson County drove deep into Green Hill territory three times over the final 24 minutes. Twice the Hawks held them scoreless. The lone drive Wilson Central scored on came with just over two minutes remaining.
“Coach knew that we weren’t playing to our full potential and told us to stay in the fight,” Green Hill senior defensive end Kail Burroughs said. “We fixed some things and bounced back in the second half. I feel like our defense really made a nice comeback in the second half.
…we were a little shaky in the beginning but I knew we’d come back. That’s just how defense is, we never give up.”
Kannon Burroughs continues to shine for the Hawks
It may have not been the stat-stuffing performance he had last week against Summit, but Kail’s little brother Kannon continued to show Hawks fans why the future with him under center will likely be a bright one.
The sophomore finished the night with four touchdown passes and stayed clean with no interceptions or fumbles. Wilson Central’s defense pressured Kannon throughout the night. However, instead of forcing passes, he stayed calm, delivered strikes to receivers, or took off on his own.
No play showed Kannon’s maturity more than his final touchdown to Brayden Jones.
Midway through the fourth quarter, the Hawks defense had just forced a fumble deep in Wildcats territory. Facing a fourth and long on the Wildcats 29, Kannon stepped up in the pocket and found Jones over the middle for six to put the game out of reach.
“This was definitely a great win for us,” Kannon said. “They’re our crosstown rival so we knew it would be a battle. Now we just move on to next week and keep it going.”