Hanahan’s first postseason battle unfolded like many before it.
The second-ranked Hawks struck quickly and never had to sweat much in knocking off Southside 38-7 in the opening round of the Class AAA playoffs at Wiley Knight Stadium on Friday.
“At this point, it’s just about winning and getting to the next round,” HHS coach Charlie Patterson said. “You’ve got to play well every week because you’re playing for your lives.”
The Hawks (11-0) host Marlboro County, which is 9-2 and coming off a 42-14 win over Swansea.
There’s a similar feel this week to the second-round game last season. In 2012, Myrtle Beach came in with the bigger reputation but Hanahan led by as many as 20 points in the second half and knocked off the Seahawks 34-26. Myrtle Beach had six state football championships to its credit but was no match for Hanahan.
Marlboro County Bulldogs has won a pair of Class AAAA championships (1998, 2001) under coach Dean Boyd and is considered one of the top programs around the state.
“I don’t know that tradition really matters that much,” Patterson said. “What matters is the two teams that are on the field Friday night. We know they are good.”
There’s not much of a connection between the two teams this fall so getting a comparison through previous scores is difficult.
The Bulldogs played Manning and won 41-33 on Nov. 1.
Hanahan defeated a pair of teams, Timberland (41-0) and Berkeley (36-0), which also took on Manning. Manning lost to Timberland 18-15 and defeated Berkeley 33-9.
The Hanahan-Marlboro County winner plays either Socastee or Hartsville in the third round.
In the win over Southside, Hanahan quarterback Mason Schwerzler threw for 179 yards and three touchdowns, one each to Saaehim Brooks, Sam Denmark and Chase Pfaff.
Hanahan’s other points came on Vontrell Grant’s 36-yard fumble return and Quan Wade’s 15-yard run.
Southside’s lone score came against Hanahan’s backups with less than five seconds left in the game.
“You don’t want to complain too much when you win 38-7 but we left some points out there and there are some things we’ve got to get fixed before this week,” Patterson said.