With the battle for first place in the CCL still up for grabs, the Hartley High School football team seized control during a nine-minute stretch that began midway through the third quarter Oct. 12 at DeSales.

The Hawks put together a 15-play, 85-yard drive that ate up more than six minutes to tie the game late in the third quarter. They then got a fumble recovery to set up what would become a game-winning 10-yard touchdown run by Jalan January with 9 minutes, 40 seconds to go.

With a 21-14 victory, Hartley improved to 6-2 overall and 2-0 in the league while the Stallions dropped to 5-3 overall and 1-1 in the CCL.

Both teams are battling for playoff spots in Division III, Region 11.

“At halftime we just had to come out strong, and as the third quarter went on, we just had to keep pounding,” Hartley junior quarterback Miles Fleming said. “We did what we needed to do. We talked about this all season, getting DeSales.”

With 9 seconds left in the second quarter, Hartley completed a 10-play, 70-yard drive with a 1-yard run by January to cut a two-touchdown deficit to 14-7.

The score was set up by a 17-yard pass from Fleming to Philip Cole on second-and-3 from the Stallions’ 21.

Then early in the third quarter, January was stopped a yard short on fourth-and-2 from the Hawks’ 45, but DeSales couldn’t capitalize.

After Hartley forced the Stallions to punt, the Hawks put together the long game-tying drive, capped by a 6-yard run by Fleming that made it 14-all with 17 seconds to go in the third quarter.

On DeSales’ ensuing drive, a mishandled snap was recovered by Hartley’s Marcellis Parker at the Stallions’ 23.

Four plays later, January ran for the game’s final score.

“You play a great team and there’s going to be inches,” Hartley coach Brad Burchfield said. “We got it this time. It’s a tight ballgame. (The fumble recovery) was the key to the game.”

The Stallions took a 7-0 lead with 3:48 left in the first quarter when Joey Velazquez ran for a 20-yard touchdown to complete an 11-play, 60-yard drive.

Then with 4:03 left in the first half, DeSales took a 14-0 lead on a 1-yard run by Velazquez on fourth-and-goal. That possession spanned 78 yards and 16 plays.

Midway through the first quarter, DeSales senior two-way lineman Rodas Johnson suffered a knee injury and didn’t return.

“In the first half we were able to keep their offense off the field, and in the second half they sort of kept our offense off the field,” DeSales coach Ryan Wiggins said.

julrey@thisweeknews.com

@UlreyThisWeek

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Team 1 2 3 4 Final HARTLEY 0 7 7 7 21 DESALES 7 7 0 0 14

D—Velazquez 20 run (Tawiah kick)

D—Velazquez 1 run (Tawiah kick)

H—January 1 run (Agriesti kick)

H—Fleming 6 run (Agriesti kick)

H—January 10 run (Agriesti kick)