Game of the Week: Hardaway vs. Carver
HARDAWAY ON THE HUNT FOR FIRST MATCHUP WIN SINCE 2004
The Hardaway Hawks are on a mission. To shut down the Carver Tigers for the first time since 2004.
“Every year we get closer and closer to beating Carver,” said Hardaway junior linebacker Jakeveon Upshaw. “I feel like this year is finally the year.”
“We want to show them what Hardaway is made of,” said Hardaway Head Coach Michael Woolridge. “Like we said it’s our time. Carver done got this thing the last few years by one touchdown. We think it’s going to go the other way this year”
The Hawks are off to a strong (2-0) start, including a shutout victory over Fayette County.
“Held them scoreless last week,” said Hawks senior running back Tahjee Hudson. “It’s everybody. It’s a team effort.”
Hudson leads the charge on offense, and he’s tough to take down. Probably because he squats 465 pounds.
“Offensively we’ve got a big power back,” said Woolridge. “Tahjee and the o-line do a great job moving people. We’ve got some receivers that can make plays, so I feel like it’s a pretty equal team on both sides of the ball.”
“I try to be a leader every single day,” said Hudson. “Even when I wasn’t starting. Just for the young people of the team.”
“I’ve seen him grow since the last Carver game,” said Upshaw. “He got in. I was so mesmerized by him just picking up yards easily.”
Carver counters with senior running back Khiari McCoy who is ready to hit the field after missing most of the game last season.
“I feel good because now I can show them what I can do,” said McCoy. “Last year I didn’t get to show that. It was the first drive, so I didn’t even play”
McCoy is just one piece on the Tigers strong, fast squad. Second-year head coach Corey Joyner knows everybody will have to show up against the hawks.
“They are a very physical defense and a very physical offense with the things they do,” said Joyner. “We got our work cut out for us.”
“I feel like that first win of the region will set the tone for the rest of the region,” said Tigers senior wide receiver Ja’Cyais Credle. “Let them know we are not a push over team. We’re not a joke.”
Last year, Carver lost one regular season game to region leader Cairo.
“This year I think the target is on our back,” said Joyner. “A lot of people are prepared for us now.”
“We can’t sleep on nobody,” said McCoy. “We’ve got to stay focused and play as a team because if not we are going to lose.”
Kickoff is set for this Friday at 7:30 p.m. EST in Memorial Stadium.