Hazelwood Central Starts 2-0 Thanks to Two Last Half-Minute Touchdown Passes
By Jim Wieners
For the first time since 2010 Hazelwood Central Football is 2-0 and for the first time in that time frame has won games outside of the Suburban North Conference for third-year head coach Van Vanatta.
But after the first two games in which they each were in doubt until the final minute or half-minute might have quickened the aging process on Vanatta, who also coached baseball. “I have enough gray hairs,” said Vanatta after the 42-38 win Sept. 6 at DeSmet Jesuit High.
Hazelwood Central won 33-28 over Webster Groves on Aug. 31 on a 22-yard touchdown pass with 17 seconds left and on Sep. 6 at DeSmet won on an 11-yard pass for a touchdown with under 15 seconds left. The quarterback who threw those passes is junior Mike Glass.
It was not easy the first two years for Vanatta especially outside the Suburban North when the Hawks lost three times to DeSmet as well as Columbia-Rock Bridge, Kirkwood, CBC and Webster Groves. In the Suburban North the Hawks under Vanatta lost only to Hazelwood East and McCluer North in 2011 while going unbeaten in the 2012 SNC championship season while also winning twice over winless Hazelwood West. This year the Hawks seem to be on a mission and Vanatta said “the kids worked hard all summer.”
Enter Glass who is in his third high school in three years. As a freshman two years ago at McCluer South-Berkeley Glass completed 59 out of 103 passes for 893 yards and eight touchdowns in a 5-6 season.
Last year as a sophomore at Francis Howell Glass filled in for the injured Brett Siebenshuh and completed 77 out of 149 passes for 1,142 yards and 11 touchdowns as the Vikings went 12-2 and was Class Six State Runner Up to Blue Springs.
While Siebenshuh is back calling signals at Francis Howell and La’Marko Ball is the McCluer South-Berkeley quarterback, Glass’ junior year with the Hawks is off to a good start completing 27 out of 55 passes for 497 yards and four touchdowns. His pass for the winning score against Webster Groves was a 22-yarder to Matt Quarells, who caught a pass 34 yards on the sideline at DeSmet for a touchdown with Spartan defenders all over as time expired in the first half. The game winner over DeSmet was to Xavier Sneed that ended a three game losing streak to the Catholic-Jesuit High School.
Glass does not have to be the player to carry the Hawks on his back by himself. Another junior, running back Kevin Batt, is also pitching in and getting results. Batt has carried the ball so far 36 times for 374 yards and three touchdowns, two against DeSmet, and has also caught a touchdown pass from Glass, a 67-yarder on the third play from scrimmage against DeSmet.
The Hawk offense is clicking said Vanatta but the defense needs to work on improving.
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