Hawks to go down swinging

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 11, 2006

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – Go down swinging.

That’s what Chowan University’s football team intends to do today (Saturday) when they travel here for the annual Oyster Bowl for their final game of the season.

“Our focus? Win the football game,” head coach Lorick Atkinson said. “We’ve got to go up there and play it and the Oyster Bowl trophy is on the line.

“A win would be a good way to jump start the program and the off season,” he added. “It makes the winter a lot better if you win the last one.”

The Hawks suffered a 37-3 setback at nationally ranked Wesley College last week, but the tough fight put up by his club leads Atkinson to believe they are still heading in the right direction.

“They played hard,” he said. “The kids really fought. It just came down to a couple of plays. It could have been 21-14 at the half.”

The coach said he was pleased with the continual effort put forth by his club.

“I give the kids credit and the coaching staff,” he said. “They played hard. Their kids made plays and we didn’t. I’m disappointed in the loss, but proud of the effort.”

Atkinson said his club played well on defense, providing a tough barrier for the Wolverines.

“They couldn’t run the football on us,” he said. “We did some very good things offensively, we just couldn’t get anything rolling.”

This week the Hawks will travel to Newport News Apprentice School to meet their rivals who have already secured a winning season with six wins to their credit.

Sam Williams will remain at quarterback for the Hawks, despite suffering a toe injury last week. He is joined on the injury report by Kjell Cordero and Shatae McEachin, both of whom missed last week as well. Spruce Lee and DeAngelo Goffingon also are injured.

“We’re asking the freshman and sophomores to play a lot of football right now,” Atkinson said. “Our depth has become a problem because of injuries and that has really hurt us in the kicking game.”

This week the Hawks will have to move the ball on offense and will have to find ways to score.

“We have to score,” Atkinson said. “We’ve got to get the ball into the endzone and that’s the bottom line. We’ve got to score points.”

Atkinson said the Hawks will match up well with Newport News.

“They do a very good job, but we have a chance to win if we go play like we should,” he said.

The Hawks will be at Newport News at 1 p.m. today.