If there was any doubt the Hawthorne Hornets were going to defend their 1R state title next week in Tallahassee, it was quickly put to bed on Thursday night.
Junior quarterback C.J. Ingram threw for four touchdowns and Hawthorne allowed only one first down as the host Hornets whitewashed Blountstown 49-0 in a 1R state semifinal game.
The Hornets (12-0) won their 24th straight game and will get a shot at winning their second consecutive state title next Thursday against Madison County at Bragg Memorial Stadium on the Florida A&M campus in Tallahassee. It is also Hawthorne’s fourth consecutive appearance in the state championship game.
The Hornets took over the game early against Blountstown (8-4), whom Hawthorne beat 28-0 in last year’s state semifinal.
The Hornets took advantage of a short opening kickoff, taking over at midfield and scoring four plays later as Ingram found senior wide receiver Alvon Isaac for a 22-yard touchdown throw.
It was the first of three touchdowns on the evening for Isaac, a USF commit. His third score came on a 55-yard punt return early in the third quarter, after he had two long returns earlier called back due to penalties.
He’s (Isaac) ready to make a play anywhere on the field,” Hawthorne coach Cornelius Ingram said. “We blocked it up the right way the first couple of times and we had a block in the back and hold. He’s just special, you can get him the ball anywhere and he’s going to make something happen.
The Hornets scored on three of their first four possessions with a safety in between as Blountstown sailed the snap over the punter’s head in the end zone. Junior running back Keenon Johnson scored from three yards out and Ingram found senior Caleb Rollerson for a 24-yard score and a 23-0 halftime lead.
Hawthorne’s defense set up another touchdown on the first play of the second half, with Hornets senior linebacker Andrew Zock picking up a Blountstown fumble and returning it to the one-yard line. Isaac scored one play later for a 30-0 advantage.
Isaac’s punt return two minutes later made it 36-0 and led to a running clock.
Madison County was the last team to beat Hawthorne,13-12, in the 2021 title game.
“We know traditionally they (Madison) are one of the top schools for years and years,” Ingram said. “We know it will be a battle. We are definitely motivated going into it.”