November 15, 2012
by Tyler Lancaster
Obviously, the results of the game against LaSalle last Friday night left our players and fans a bit unsettled. Going into the game and based on the Hawks’ 6-1 record to that point, everyone had high hopes that we could walk away with a result similar to last year’s Super Bowl. Count Coach Croft amongst those who felt pretty confident going into the game. He was gracious enough to share his thoughts with HSN both before and after the game.
As to what he felt were positives for the Hawks going into the game, Coach Croft felt that the success that his squad has had so far this year, the week of solid practices leading up to the game, and the specter of last season’s win over the Rams in the Super Bowl all helped to contribute to a general sense of momentum for our guys' heading toward the playoffs. He felt, however, that in order to be able to truly stay toe-to-toe with the Maroon, his team would need big, step-up type performances from Jared Witherspoon, Marco DelVecchio, and Mario Mclean (who was injured in the first quarter). The big matchup on the field, according to Coach, would be our defense's facing off against their powerful offense; Coach Croft is well aware of their ability to both move the ball and score points nearly at will, and that their quarterback, Francis (tremendous arm) and running back, Morris (very explosive) had the ability to cause headaches for the Hawks all night long. Coach felt that in order for our defense to be able to stay with the Rams, the guys would have to come out big, put them in bad spots on offense, and to be physical all game long.
While Coach Croft had a good sense of what was needed for success, things didn’t go the way that he had planned or hoped. After the game, he agreed to talk about it.
HSN: Have you had time to digest what happened in the LaSalle game?
Coach Croft: Yes, we’re obliviously not happy with the result of the game. LaSalle out played us.
HSN: What part of LaSalle’s game was the most effective against you guys?
Coach Croft: Their defense put a lot of pressure on our quarterback, and our line did not block well.
LaSalle’s passing game was also tough to stop.
HSN: There were times that our guys played well, but it seemed that we had some difficulty moving the ball, any clear reasons for that?
Coach Croft: Blocking was our weakness that game, and losing Mario McClean early in the first quarter didn’t help matters.
HSN: Speaking of Mario, he and Joe Vincent both went down with injuries during the game. Will that effect you guys going into the game against Toll Gate or in the playoffs?
Coach Croft: It won’t affect us much for the rest of the season, but we hope to have them back for the playoffs.
HSN: How are your preparations going into the Toll Gate game and the playoffs?
Coach Croft: We’re splitting the practice week up to get ready for both. We’re confident going forward.
HSN: Thanks for your time, Coach, and best of luck in trying to bring a third title in a row home to Hendricken.