Hanahan coach Charlie Patterson felt his team needed a stern test after encountering no resistance the first half of the season.
He got his wish on Friday night when the fourth-ranked Hawks fell behind 15-0 in the first nine minutes at No. 10 Orangeburg-Wilkinson.
The Hawks responded by rallying for a 28-21 victory over the Bruins in the Region 8-AAA opener for both teams. The Hawks improved to 6-0 while the Bruins fell to 5-1.
“I hope they understand they’ve got to practice and prepare better,” Patterson said. “I didn’t feel like we had a good week of practice.
“They also need to understand we’re the mark everybody’s shooting for. We won the region last year and we’re ranked high in the state. We’re going to get everybody’s best shot.”
Quarterback Mason Schwerzler was 12 of 18 for 190 yards and three touchdowns, with two of those scoring tosses going to Saaehim Brooks.
The other touchdown pass went to Terrell Green, who finished as the leading receiver with five grabs for 90 yards.
Running back Quan Wade rushed for 67 yards and added a touchdown on the ground for the Hawks, who host county and region rival Berkeley High School on Friday.
The Stags are coming off a 40-14 victory over James Island. Berkeley has won two in a row and three of four after starting off 0-2.
“They’re a very solid team all-around,” Patterson said of the Stags. “We’re going to have to bring our best game to come out with a victory.”
Hanahan has won two straight in the series, including 34-16 last season in Moncks Corner.
The Hawks enter Week 7 unbeaten after staging a rally on Friday. Orangeburg-Wilkinson used a fourth-down stop, safety and interception to get out quickly on the Hawks.
Schwerzler then engineered a 73-yard drive and hit Brooks on a 14-yarder for his first touchdown with 6:10 remaining in the first half.
Wade pulled Hanahan closer on a 9-yard run with 1:03 on the clock.
Neither team scored in the third quarter but Hanahan got moving in the final period to avoid the upset.
With 9:31 left, Schwerzler and the Hawks converted a fourth down to Green with a 35-yard touchdown pass. Wade’s 2-point run gave Hanahan a 21-20 lead.
Schwerzler and Brooks hooked up again on a 28-yarder with 4:31 left to ice it for the Hawks. Kyle Spigner’s extra point made it 28-15
Orangeburg-Wilkinson’s last score came with no time on the clock.