Around the Region
Hawks offense is soaring
|John Iwaniec and the Hawks have high expectations, and the offense to meet them.
Photo by Christopher Morgan Photography
The Huntingdon football team's offense isn't fancy.
Sure, the Hawks employ a spread attack that features three or four wide receivers on most plays, like a large majority of teams across the contemporary college football landscape.
But the focus isn't on flash, nor is the offense centered around one or two dominant players. Rather, the Hawks preach the importance of execution, and a balance that gets multiple players involved.
If that sounds simple, that's because it is. But sometimes there is beauty in simplicity.
The Hawks offense has been nothing short of dominant over the course of the team's 3-0 start this season. Huntingdon ranks No. 1 nationally in total offense (638.3 yards per game) and No. 3 in scoring offense (55.3 points per game). The team has scored at least 49 points in each of its three wins.
Those are gaudy numbers, to be sure, but to head coach Mike Turk and the rest of the team, it's just a byproduct of the play-by-play execution.
"I don't think you ever count on doing stuff like that," Turk said. "You're going to approach it and try to score enough points to win, and that's really what we try to do every week."
Week 1 produced 619 yards of offense in a 52-49 shootout road win against Louisiana College. Week 2 saw 538 yards in a 49-28 home win over Birmingham-Southern. Week 3 represents season highs in both yards (758) and points in a 65-21 home win against Belhaven.
The offensive scheme, according to senior running back John Iwaniec, is generally the same each week. For Huntingdon, it comes down to how the players execute the plays.
"We don't really get big-headed around here," Iwaniec said. "Every week we're going to do the same thing. We're going to go out there and do what we do, execute the plays like we do."
Iwaniec, who Turk refers to as the "heart and soul" of the offense, is a key cog. At just 5-foot-8 and 175 pounds, Iwaniec doesn't strike the most imposing figure on the football field, but his dedication and determination more than make up for any perceived lack of physical skill. Iwaniec has topped 100 rushing yards in each of Huntingdon's three games, and his 336 yards leads the team.
"As a coach, you always want your best players to be your hardest-working kids and your most humble guys and your most team-oriented people, and he just embodies that," Turk said. "And he's pretty good when you hand it to him, by the way. I don't want to understate...
Andrew Lovell is a writer based in Connecticut and a former online news editor for ESPN.com, as well as a former sports staff writer/editor for the New Britain Herald (Conn.). He has written feature stories for ESPN.com, currently contributes fantasy football content to RotoBaller.com, and has been a regular contributor to D3sports.com sites since 2007. Andrew has also written for a number of daily newspapers in New York, including the Poughkeepsie Journal, Ithaca Journal and Auburn Citizen. He graduated from Ithaca College in 2008 with B.A. in Sport Media and a minor in writing.
2012-2015 columnist: Adam Turer
2007-2011 columnist: Ryan Tipps
2003-2006: Pat Cummings
2000: Keith McMillan
1999: Pat Coleman
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