Sept. 27, 2008
Rome, Ga. - The Hawks opened their home football season in style on Saturday afternoon, breaking three team records and one individual record, in a 42-0 victory over Mid-South Western Division foe, the Faulkner University Eagles.
Shorter (3-1, 1-0) broke two records for points scored, with 28 points in the third quarter and 35 points in the second half.
"It feels great to come to Barron for the first time this season and pull off an exciting win," said head coach Phil Jones. "The shutout is a credit to what the team pulled off in practice this week and learning from previous mistakes in the season."
Shorter's more-than-impressive 421 yards on rushing broke a single-game school record held since the beginning of 2006. A.J. Cooley was the Hawks' centerpiece in game, rushing 209 yards in 19 attempts, breaking the single game rushing record, held since 2006 by Fabian Daniel.
"It doesn't really matter what I did," said Cooley. "In the end, the only thing we have to pay attention to is what is on the scoreboard. It was all about playing fast today and we got everything moving in the second half toward that."
Quarterback Ben Williams, who was filling in for Drew Elrod, didn't miss a beat on his passing duties, going 4-for-6 in the game, with 105 yards passing and 49 yards rushing. Shorter had 526 total offensive yards to Faulkner's (0-4, 0-1) 196, and 24 first downs to Faulkner's 13.
In the first half, little points went up on the board. After a failed drive from Faulkner to open up the second quarter, the Hawks got things moving. Following a Cooley 10-yard carry, a Williams 37-yard pass to T.C. Jay led the way to Shorter's first score with 9:01 on the clock, to take the 7-0 lead.
The score opened up big in the second half, when in a three-minute span, the Hawks put 21 points on the board with three touchdowns. The first came on a 10-yard run from Williams, the second on a 12-yard run from Williams and the third on a Cooley 20-yard run.
"In the first half, we didn't move the ball like we should have. It took a lot of character to come back and execute like we did in the second half," added Jones.
After a Dennis Stanley touchdown run with 2:45 left in the third quarter to put the Hawks up 35-0, a Pierre Toran one-yard carry just 32 seconds into the fourth quarter supplied the last seven points of the game.
The 42-0 win gave the Hawks six straight quarters of shutout defense carrying over from last week's game against Pikeville, and Shorter's first shutout win since Sept. 16, 2006 against LaGrange College.
"We came out a lot more intense then in previous weeks with a plan to have more fun," said safety Will Oliver. "When we, as four-year seniors, graduate this year, we want to be remembered for being fast defensively and always on the ball."
Garrett Hochstetler led Shorter in tackles with seven (two unassisted and five assisted), followed by Oliver and Logan Lollis with six a piece. Lollis also provided the lone sack in the game four yards.
Lukas Gonzalez had thee punts on the day, averaging 36.3 yards per attempt, with one inside the 20-yard line.
Shorter is on the road again next week in Campbellsville, Ky., in a divisional game against Campbellsville University. The team returns home on Oct. 11 for a 1:30 p.m. game against Lambuth University at Barron Stadium.