Gretna and Tunstall football

Hawk defender Cornelius Jefferson, 3, breaks up a pass against Tunstall’s Will Blackwell this past Friday night at Gretna High School.

The Gretna Hawks’ football team held off Tunstall early and piled on points late for a big win.

The 2-0 Hawks won, 62-20, last Friday in their home opener on the strength of Daelyn Miller and Isaiah Griffin’s three scores.

“It was not a pretty game early on,” head coach Cole Simpson said. “Offensively, we had our way with them. Defensively, we struggled a bit.”

Griffin put his team on the board early in the first, taking the opening kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown.

On their next possession, Miller took the ball to the end zone from 37 yards out for an early 14-0 lead.

The Trojans answered with a score of their own, but Miller closed out the first quarter with a 10-yard run for a 21-7 lead.

Griffin also started off the second quarter with a long run, this time on a 40-yard score.

Tunstall answered with another touchdown and recovered the onside kick, but had a turnover-on-downs after four stops by the Hawks’ defense.

Miller added a 39-yard run for his third score, but Tunstall scored on their own 39-yard pass play to pull within 34-20 four minutes before halftime.

The Hawks then showed off their passing game as Tabron Mabins hooked up with Dominick Meeks on a 41-yard touchdown pass.

An interception by Cornelius Jefferson set up a 73-yard touchdown run by Griffin to close out the first half, 48-20.

“We just weren’t playing smart,” Simpson said of the first half. “We got that adjusted.”

Two touchdown runs by RJ Stone in the second half activated the running clock rule and sealed the win for Gretna.

“I was really impressed with Stone at fullback,” Simpson said.

Griffin led the team with run carries for 180 yards.

Miller had five runs for 118 total yards. Stone ran 14 times for 107 yards.

Mabins finished with 60 yards passing by completing three of four passes, all to Meeks.

His brother Cam Mabins had five carries for 73 yards.

Rey Canares converted six extra points.

Matthew Thompson led the team with 10 tackles.

Miller, Caleb Ferguson, Corlyn Witcher and Kyle Durham each had five tackles.

Witcher, Ferguson and Jaxon Moon each had a sack.

Simpson was quick to credit his opponent for their play.

“They hung around and played hard,” he said. “It was also us failing to execute.”

The Hawks have a bye this week and travel to Radford next Friday to take on last year’s state semi-finalist.

The Bobcats knocked the Hawks out of the playoffs last season.

“We have to get healthy and prepared for the big game,” Simpson said.

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