In their first game of the season Saturday against New Haven, the Crimson Hawks faced adversity as they gave up the ball four times. New Haven’s defense caused three interceptions from senior transfer Quinton Maxwell and forced a fumble as well.
It was likely that the Hawks would run into some obstacles early in the season due to the lack of playing time with their new quarterback. It was not surprising to see that there were some early miscommunications in this matchup.
Despite these turnovers, IUP showcased some stellar play and showed scary potential on both sides of the ball. The Hawks showed that they have the ability to make spectacular plays that should not be taken lightly.
Quinton Maxwell put the Chargers on notice early in the game with a 44-yard pass to sophomore receiver Duane Brown for the first touchdown of the day. The Hawks wanted to come out and make a statement, and that’s exactly what they did.
Shortly after this connection, junior running back Justice Evans punched it into the end-zone after a 20-yard run. The Crimson Hawks offense got hot early and took a 14-0 lead.
After tacking on a field goal to their score, the Crimson Hawks finished the half 17-7. New Haven did not falter; it opened the half with two field goals to put the game within four points.
This would be the last time New Haven would be allowed to score in this thrilling matchup. IUP remained stout throughout the remainder of the second half. Despite throwing two interceptions in the third quarter, IUP continued to push the tempo on offense as Duane Brown found the end-zone for a second time.
The Hawks now had a sizeable 24-13 lead on the Chargers, and they did not plan on letting that slip away.
The Crimson Hawks put the nail in the coffin when redshirt sophomore Devin Castro intercepted the ball in the endzone to seal the team’s first win for the year.
The Hawks showed that they can readily put up points in a multitude of ways, and they can shut you down defensively. This early season success is incredibly promising for Hawk Nation. Even with the early season learning curve, the Crimson Hawks have displayed moments of excellence. It appears that the sky is the limit right now for Indiana natives and Hawks fans everywhere.
The victory was important for the Crimson Hawks, as they head into a portion of the schedule that may be tougher than they anticipated.
The team will travel to Millersville Saturday to take on the Marauders. This game should be interesting, as Millersville is looking to continue its early season success after a 21-20 win against Pace University.
With each game, this team is going to become more familiar with each other and hope become the well-oiled machine that Hawks fans have been accustomed to seeing in years past.