Three long scoring runs in the first half was all the Hartley High School football team needed to defeat visiting Ready 41-13 and capture the CCL-Gold Division championship.
Three long scoring runs in the first half were all the Hartley High School football team needed to defeat visiting Ready 41-13 and capture the CCL-Gold Division championship.
The Hawks improved to 8-2 overall and the Silver Knights finished 4-6.
"I'm very happy and proud about what our seniors and this team have done so far," said Hartley coach Brad Burchfield, whose team is playoff bound for the second time in three seasons. "We had a great effort tonight. We didn't give up any big plays and did not commit any turnovers and were able to run to the outside when (Ready) took away our inside lanes."
The victory was Hartley's first over Ready since 2006. Hawks running back Omar Lane scored two first-half touchdowns and running back Noah Key had three touchdowns.
Lane took a counter play 41 yards down the right sideline for the game's first score with 7 minutes, 46 seconds remaining in the first quarter. The Hawks' defense set up the score two plays earlier when Key recovered a Silver Knights' fumble on an option play.
After Hartley's Drake Jones recovered the Hawks' ensuing onside kick, Lane ran 49 yards down the right sideline on a reverse on the next play to score his second touchdown in 12 seconds.
Hartley extended its lead to 21-0 with 2:05 left in the first half on a 36-yard touchdown run by running back Jerrod Zang, capping a 65-yard drive. Key had kept the drive alive on the previous play by powering off tackle for 4 yards on fourth-and-1 on Ready's 40-yard line.
Key became the third Hawks running back to score when he ran 28 yards for a touchdown just over two minutes into the second half. The score capped a 78-yard drive.
"A big reason for our offensive success this season has been our offensive line," Key said. "We have five seniors on the line and they've allowed us to adjust and have success despite what the opposing defense gears up to stop."
Key's 7-yard touchdown run on the following drive gave Hartley a 35-0 lead and marked the ninth time in 10 games that the Hawks have scored 28 points or more.
A 28-yard run by Ready quarterback Bo Hardy set up a 7-yard touchdown run by Christian Knapper to make it 35-7 with just under a minute left in the third quarter.
Ready made it 35-13 with under eight minutes left in the fourth quarter when Hardy connected with Gregg Yoho on a 23-yard touchdown pass.
Key then scored his third touchdown of the game and 28th of the season on 22-yard run with 5:18 left to close the scoring.
"We finished the season 5-0 at home, but we need to be 6-0," Burchfield said. "We talked all season about taking the next step. Now we need to continue the journey."
HARTLEY 14 7 13 7 -- 41
READY 0 0 7 6 -- 13
H--Lane 41 run (Wahle kick)
H--Lane 49 run (Wahle kick)
H--Zang 36 run (Wahle kick)
H--Key 28 run (kick failed)
H--Key 7 run (Matuska pass from Underwood)
R--Knapper 7 run (Wright kick)
R--Yoho 23 pass from Hardy (pass failed)
H--Key 22 run (kick failed)