A year ago, Hayfield hung on to defeat Edison in a wild 47-45 Week 10 shootout. The National District rivals met again on Friday night in Alexandria and provided another dramatic conclusion to the regular season.
While the two teams produced another nail-biter that ended in a 20-19 Hayfield victory, Hawks Coach Roy Hill was just happy his team could overcome its myriad of mistakes.
The Hawks (5-5) committed five turnovers — four on fumbles — and were flagged for 16 penalties for 169 yards, including nine offensive holding calls.
“Every time we had something going we would end up in a big hole,” Hill said. “It was a testament to the guys perseverance and willingness to never stop battling. We were able to get back in the game and hold them off there at the end.”
Hayfield trailed 19-12 at the half, but the defense stepped up its play after the break and held the Eagles (3-7) without a point over the final two quarters.
Marty Johnson’s two-yard touchdown run in the third quarter pulled the Hawks to within a point, but rather than go for the tying extra point, Hayfield elected to go for two and the lead.
Senior tailback Osman Kargbo scored the conversion on a power run to the right side out of the double wing formation to put the Hawks ahead for good.
Kargbo, who entered the game with one fumble all season before Friday, had coughed up three fumbles earlier in the contest.
“I had done so well with my ball security all season long, but that game I really can’t describe it. I don’t know what happened,” Kargbo said. “I jammed my finger Thursday at practice and it was really killing me, but I’m not blaming the injury for the miscues.”
Even with the fumbles, he proved to be the lone bright spot for Hayfield’s offense as he rushed for a game-high 127 yards on 17 carries and one touchdown.
Winners of five of their last six, Hayfield will now travel to No. 12 Westfield (8-2) at for a 6A North region first-round matchup Friday. The Bulldogs defeated Hayfield 35-13 in their Week 1 meeting, although the Hawks were tied with the Bulldogs, 7-7, at the half. It was the first in a string of four losses to begin the season for Hayfield to teams that saw time in The Post Top 20 this fall.
“I’m glad our first four games were against state-caliber teams,” Kargbo said. “If they weren’t against those types of teams it wouldn’t have exposed what we needed to get fixed. . . . We’re a lot more disciplined. Now, we know where we should have people to make plays.”
More on Virginia high school football: