Steers look to clip Hawks’ wings in home finale
While a playoff spot has already secured for this season, one would think the Graham Steers (5-4, 2-1) could afford to relax this Friday night on Senior Night when the Iowa Park Hawks (8-1, 2-1) come to Newton Field at 7:30 p.m.
Unfortunately, relaxation is going to be the last thing on the minds of either of these teams.
The winner of this contest will earn the No. 2 seed in the playoffs out of District 3-4A II while the loser will be the third seed, so one could argue taking it easy would not be advised.
Both of these teams however, will be looking to avoid the chaotic finishes they had to endure last week in their respective games.
Graham was forced to sweat out a narrow 28-25 victory on the road against the Vernon Lions, with the Steers sealing the game with 12 seconds left thanks to an onside kick recovery.
Meanwhile, the Hawks had a stellar first half against the Bridgeport Bulls, leading 47-17 at the halftime break.
However, the Bulls mounted a furious comeback and ended up in a shootout with the Hawks as Iowa Park prevailed 61-50.
In order for the Steers to enter the playoffs with some momentum, they will have to slow down a Hawks offense which has averaged more than 533 yards this season.
Additionally, the Hawks have lit up the scoreboard this season, scoring more than 50 points four times, along with scoring more than 30 in every game along the way.
Iowa Park’s only blemish on their otherwise perfect journey this year came at the hands of district champion Krum on Oct. 7 where the Hawks fell in triple overtime 56-54.
Leading the offensive attack for the men in green is Bowie Franks, who has totaled 160 carries this season on the ground for 1,563 yards and 19 touchdowns, including 192 yards on 18 attempts last week against the Bulls, where he reeled off a 68-yard score in the second half.
At the quarterback position, the Hawks will rely on Dylan Meyer, who has thrown for 1,208 yards this season on 70-of-104 passing with eight touchdowns.
Meyer has also added 832 yards rushing with 17 touchdowns on 132 carries.
The two main targets Meyer will be looking for through the air will be Billy Pearson and Colton Dickerson
Pearson has totaled 444 yards on 28 catches with five touchdowns this season, while Dickerson 394 yards on 14 catches with one touchdown.
Graham will look to rebound from a slow offensive performance last week, but will find plenty of positives in the way its defense kept them in the game throughout.
For the rest of this story, subscribe to our print or online edition.