With the CCL championship on the line, the Hartley football team turned to running back Jalan January on six consecutive plays Oct. 31 at home against DeSales.
The Hawks, who surrendered the lead for the first time in the game on the previous possession, got a 41-yard run by January to move deep into Stallions territory and he ended the drive with a 6-yard touchdown run as Hartley won 20-13.
The Hawks earned their third consecutive CCL title, finishing 3-0 in league play, and improved to 9-1 overall, boosting their hopes of earning the No. 1 seed for the Division III, Region 11 playoffs.
The Stallions dropped to 8-2 overall and finished 2-1 in the league.
“It’s a lot to win three straight (CCL titles),” said January, who finished with 35 carries for 255 yards and two touchdowns. “To come out here under the lights on a Thursday night, it’s a great feeling to have everyone come out and support you for the CCL championship.”
Two plays after getting an interception by Mason Sawyer with 8 minutes, 56 seconds remaining, the Hawks fumbled, with DeSales’ Quintell Quinn recovering at the Hartley 25.
Quinn, who rushed for 161 yards and two touchdowns on 28 carries, then scored on a 4-yard run with 5:40 left to give the Stallions a 13-12 lead. The two-point conversion pass by Owen Faulkner fell incomplete.
Hartley began the ensuing drive at its own 30 and got a 5-yard run by quarterback Miles Fleming on the first play before January had six consecutive carries, capped by his second touchdown of the game.
“(January) was a warrior,” Hawks coach Brad Burchfield said. “He ran off tackle and he pounded it through there when we had to win the game.”
The Hawks opened the scoring with a safety with 10:05 remaining in the first quarter, as DeSales punter Nathaniel Wallace-Dilling fell on the ball in the end zone after the snap sailed over his head.
After beginning the next drive at its own 48, Hartley scored four plays later on a 30-yard run by January to make it 9-0.
DeSales took over at the Hartley 26 with 7:17 left in the second quarter after a 10-yard punt and scored five plays later on a 4-yard run by Quinn.
The Hawks moved into DeSales territory on the ensuing drive but a personal foul and two holding penalties ended the scoring threat.
Hartley opened the second half by marching to the Stallions 9 with the wind at its back and got a 25-yard field goal by Ryan Hawk to make it 12-7.
In addition to Sawyer’s interception and the safety, the Stallions lost two fumbles.
“They made the drive to win the game that they needed to make,” DeSales coach Ryan Wiggins said. “Hard-fought game that probably came down to a handful of plays that they made and we didn’t.”
==========Team 1 2 3 4 Final DESALES 0 7 0 6 13 HARTLEY
9 0 3 8 20
H—Safety, punter downed in end zone
H—January 30 run (Hawk kick)
D—Quinn 4 run (Tawiah kick)
H—Hawk 25 FG
D—Quinn 5 run (pass failed)
H—January 6 run (Fleming run)