The Millwood Falcons came into Eagle Stadium Friday night ranked #3 in Class 2A, riding a 7-game win streak, undefeated in district play – and the Hennessey Eagles had them on the ropes. The first half game plan worked to near perfection: possess the football with inside power running and horizontal stretch, throw the ball when the Falcon DB’s cheated the run, and mix in a few trick plays and onside kicks along the way. It worked (for a half). The Eagles amassed 232 yards of Total Offense, scoring Touchdowns on 3 of their 5 possessions (not counting the end of half kneel-down), holding the Falcons to 164 yards on just 4 possessions, doubling the visitor’s first half time of possession, 16 minutes to 8, and taking a 22-16 lead into the locker room. It worked (for a half).
All the mojo the Eagles had stayed in the locker room at half. Everything that worked in the first two quarters failed after the break. The Falcons scored TDs on all 6 of their 2nd half possessions. The Eagles crossed the 50-yard line only once – throwing 1 interception, punting once, and turning the ball over on downs 3 times. The visiting Falcons (8-1, 6-0) asserted their dominance, with their 57-man roster and #3 ranking, seizing the 2022 Class 2A District 1 Championship by a score of 58-22.
Though there was disappointment in the loss, Friday night was also a time to celebrate. Starting with the Senior Night presentation, as we honored our soon-to-be graduates and their families, with a special remembrance of their lost brother, Luis Gonzalez, the evening ended with the Hennessey Eagles qualifying for the 2022 Oklahoma Class 2A State Championship Playoffs. With Alva’s loss to Oklahoma Christian on Friday night, the Eagles are assured no worse than a tie for 4th place in the District, of which Hennessey hold the tie-breaker against the Goldbugs.
On the field, there were things to celebrate, as well. Senior Wide Receiver Seth Simunek pulled down 7 Catches for 165 Yards and 1 Touchdown Receiving, just 14 yards shy of his personal best of 179 versus Mount St. Mary in game 1 of this season. That touchdown catch, his 11th of the season, ties him with Barry Crosswhite (’86) for 2nd most in a single season, 7 TD Receptions shy of his father, Rob Simunek (’90). Seth’s 19th Career Touchdown Catch also ties him with Crosswhite for 2nd all-time in that category, six behind his father for the most in school history. Seth stands at 4th place in HHS Career Yards with 1577, just 91 yards behind Rob for 3rd all-time. With one game left in the regular season and the playoffs after that, Seth sits at 5th in Single Season Receiving Yards, just 210 yards away from the all-time mark of 1128 held by Jose Sanchez (’14).
With 233 Yards and 1 Touchdown Pass on Friday night, Freshman QB Titan Hix has put his name in the record books again. Don Caffey threw for 2121 yards for Joe McCulley’s Eagles in 1985. That record for Most Passing Yards in a Single Season lasted for 37 years. That record has ended, and a new one begins as Titan Hix has now thrown for 2125 yards through 9 games this season. Titan’s 22 Passing TDs on the season are now just one short of Tony Mendoza (’14) for the Single Season TD mark. Hix added a 2-point conversion run and a 2-point conversion reception thrown by Simunek to round out the Eagle’s scoring.
Brandon Valles added to his team lead in tackles with 7 Solos and 1 Assist. Simunek was right behind with 6 Tackles from his Safety position.
The Eagles (6-3 Overall, 4-2 District) enter Week 10 tied for 3rd in the district with Newkirk. With postseason positioning on the line, the Hennessey travels to Newkirk next Friday night, November 4th, at 7 pm kickoff at Tiger Stadium. –EAGLEVOICE, Photos by Kenda Copeland & Jack Quirk