Hawks Open SNC Football With 2-0 Record, Host Stars Saturday

By Jim Wieners

Hazelwood Central, for the first time since 2010 goes into week three of the Football season undefeated and after a pair of non-conference wins the Hawks open Suburban North Conference play Saturday,  Sept. 14, with a 1 p.m. game against the McCluer North Stars.

Since Van Vanatta has taken over as the Hawks head coach from the now Maplewood-Richmond Heights head coach and athletic director Rich Nixon in 2011 the Hawks were winless against teams outside the Suburban North until Aug. 31, 2013. That, however, came to an end as the Hawks overcame triple-digit heat (over 100-degree indices) and a two-touchdown deficit to defeat visiting Webster Groves, 33-28.

Six days later, Sept. 6, Hazelwood Central did not have to deal with the heat but had to deal with three straight losses to DeSmet Jesuit, two of them shutouts at DeSmet where the Hawks visited last Friday. Things changed as Hazelwood Central scored at DeSmet and came home a 42-38 winner.

The key to the first two wins came with touchdowns in the final half-minute of those games. Junior quarterback Mike Glass, who transferred from Francis Howell after taking the Vikings to a Class Six State Runner Up finish last year, connected on a 22-yard scoring pass to Matt Quarrels with 17 seconds left in the heat to win the opener over Webster Groves. Last Friday night at DeSmet Glass threw his third touchdown pass of the game, an 11-yarder to Xavier Sneed with less than 15 seconds left to win it over the Spartans.

Vanatta said he let the Hawks celebrate the win but limited the celebration to 24 hours so by last Saturday night, Sept. 7, the Hawks had to focus on this Saturday’s game against McCluer North.

Meanwhile McCluer North comes to Hazelwood Central splitting the first two games. The Stars fell in their Aug. 31 home opener to Jefferson City, 24-7, called in the third quarter because of the extreme heat. Last Friday, Sept. 6 McCluer North pulled off a 30-29 win at Lindbergh on a safety with 5:18 left in the fourth quarter, their second of the game. Harry Ballard has caught a Demetrius Robinson touchdown pass in each of the first two games for the Stars and returned a punt against Lindbergh for another score.

Another Suburban North opener takes place Saturday at 1 p.m. as Hazelwood West hosts Ritenour. Two other Suburban North games will be played this Friday, Sept. 13 as McCluer hosts Riverview Gardens at 4. while Hazelwood East visits Pattonville at 7.

Suburban East Conference opens with a pair of Thursday night games, Sept. 12, at 7 p.m. at McCluer South-Berkeley plays Ladue at St. Louis University High and Clayton hosts Affton while on Saturday at 12 noon Normandy visits Jennings. Elsewhere Trinity Catholic hosts the Archdiocesan Athletic Association Small Division opener against Cardinal Ritter while on Saturday at 1 p.m. Lutheran North (0-2) visits 2-0 Westminster Christian in the Metro League.

HAZELWOOD WEST-RITENOUR — Hazelwood West snapped a 16-game losing streak last Saturday in a 20-0 home shutout of Rockwood-Marquette with two Chase Pullaro touchdowns, after being shut out 42-0 Aug. 31 at Edwardsville, Ill. Ritenour won their first two games at home over Cardinal Ritter, 47-8, and Parkway South, 13-3, as Devin Alexander ran for five touchdowns in two games, three versus Ritter.

RIVERVIEW GARDENS-McCLUER — Riverview Gardens won their first two games in the heat as the Rams won at home over Gateway STEM (formerly Gateway Tech), 34-8, and at Normandy, 30-16 as the Rams were led by Marlon Smith with five touchdown passes and four touchdown runs. McCluer was shut out in the Suburban North opener at Hazelwood East, 41-0, and then won at home over Jennings, 29-8.

HAZELWOOD EAST-PATTONVILLE — Both teams fell to defending Class Five State Champion Kirkwood as Pattonville lost in the home opener 49-31 and East lost at Kirkwood the following week, 38-21. East won the season-opener against McCluer as Jimmy Jones scored four touchdowns while Ahmad Huddleston scored twice against Kirkwood.

TRINITY CATHOLIC-CARDINAL RITTER — Trinity won at Wright City 31-19 and lost at home to Farmington, 34-7. After losing at Ritenour Cardinal Ritter won 34-6 at home over St. Dominic.

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