So far in the playoffs, the Hawkinsville defense hasn’t stepped up its level of play from the regular season.
It hasn’t really needed to.
The Red Devils (12-1) were dominant in the regular season, and they have carried that over into the GHSA Class A public school playoffs. Hawkinsville faces Irwin County at 1 p.m. on Friday for the championship at the Georgia Dome.
“We just have to keep playing hard and playing as a unit,” nose guard Devin Adams said. “That’s worked out pretty good so far.”
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Indeed, it has.
The Hawkinsville defense has allowed just 7.4 points and 126.9 yards per game this season, and it has surrendered just 33 points in its three playoff wins. The Red Devils still haven’t allowed 100 points for the season (96), and they have surrendered just 13 touchdowns.
Nine of the Red Devils’ opponents have failed to score in double figures, and Hawkinsville has recorded two shutouts. Jenkins County scored 14 points in the first round of the playoffs, and that’s the most Hawkinsville has allowed this season. The lone loss came in a 13-6 decision to Marion County.
Warren Singletary leads the team with 57.5 tackles, while Mathew Money has 57, Keshun Wright has 56, and Royce Owens has 55.5. Owens has seven sacks, while Wright has 6.5 and Adams has six.
“We’ve kept our composure, and that’s been important,” Owens said. “Really, there was only one game, the loss to Marion County, that we didn’t get the job done. Besides that game, in the other 12 games, we have kept our composure and have done what we’re supposed to do.
“We’ve played as a band of brothers, and we’ve stayed together the whole season.”
That includes playing together as a complete unit, as Hawkinsville has been equally as stingy against the run and the pass.
The Red Devils’ opposition has managed just 1,650 total yards (Hawkinsville’s offense has 3,382). Hawkinsville has held its opponents to 2.1 yards per carry (403 rushes for 828 yards) and 81-of-185 passing for 822 yards.
Plus, the Red Devils have forced 32 turnovers -- free safety Cal George has six interceptions, while cornerbacks Se’quan Lawson and Tyrus Davis each have three -- and allowed a third-down conversion rate of 22.8 percent (34-of-149).
“Our defense has played well the whole season,” Hawkinsville head coach David Daniell said. “We have to keep that up for one more game.”