Warriors fall to Hazen in state playoffs
EPC (10-2) kept it close for the first half. Down 22-14 to start the second half, Hazen exploded for 29 points in the second half to down the Warriors 51-14 in the second round of the Class 2A state football playoffs this past Friday at Hazen.
Hazen took the opening kick-off and marched down field to score to make it 6-0. The successful two-point try made it 8-0 Hornets with 7:49 left in the opening quarter. EPC started their first possession on their own 22-yard line. The Warriors fumble the ball on their first play as the Hornets recovered the ball. Hazen wasted little time as they scored on the first play after the turnover to go up 14-0 with 7:35 left. The two-point try was no good. The teams traded punts on their next possessions before EPC got the ball and was moving as the quarter came to a close with Hazen up 14-0.
EPC converted a fourth and two after Aaron Scales found Austin Smith with a 17-yard pass on third down to start the second quarter. Clay Malone made a spectacular diving catch to pick up 28-yards and put the ball on the Hazen two-yard line. Scales and Malone hooked up again on a three-yard completion for the touchdown with 8:38 left. Scales found Smith for the two-point conversion to make the score 14-8. Hazen added another score with 3:48 left in the half and with the two-point conversion it made the score 22-8 Hornets. EPC answered with a 37-yard Scales to Quin Young touchdown strike to make ti 22-14 with 1:03 left. The two-point try was no good. The score stayed the same as the teams went to the locker rooms for half time.
EPC was forced to punt on their first possession of the third quarter. Hazen also punted on their first possession before their defense came up big. The Hornets intercepted Scales' pass and returned it for a touchdown to push their lead to 28-14. The two-point try no good to leave the score the same with 5:58 left. The teams traded possessions for the remainder of the quarter as the score stayed the same headed to the final quarter.
Hazen added two more scores in the fourth quarter, getting another from their defense to set the final score and end EPC's season.
"It's a hard one to swallow. It just kind of got away from us," EPC head coach Brian Weathers said after the game. "It was a much closer game than the scoreboard will indicate. We fell down a little bit and they just poured it on. They are fast and physical, a good football team," Weather added. "I'm proud of our guys, these seniors were conference champions three out of four years in high school. Lost to a better team tonight."