A pick-six in the first half by Hawk linebacker Ayanna Wiltshire was the difference in a nail-biter Wednesday, April 5 at Seminole Ridge High School, as the Hawks held on to edge the visiting Wellington High School team 12-7.
Wiltshire picked off a Hallie Walker pass in the middle to return it 18 yards to lift the Hawks up 6-0. Seminole Ridge extended its lead to 12-0 with 1:30 remaining on the clock before the half when quarterback Ashley Hollandsworth connected with Kelsey Morrison for a 37-yard touchdown pass.
The Wolverines played well defensively, but the team struggled to move the ball consistently on offense as the first half came to a close.
Wellington developed some momentum with two second half interceptions by Juliana Ulloa. The first came early in the second half during a long Hawk drive, but the Wolverines were unable to convert the turnover into points to close the margin.
Ulloa came up big a second time with her second pick, and this time the Wolverine offense was able to capitalize. Wellington sustained a drive to start the fourth quarter. Walker led the Wolverine offense down the field, and found Samantha Bean for a 10-yard touchdown to slice into the Hawk lead 12-7.
Ulloa was instrumental in getting the Wolverines back the ball, breaking up two more Hawk passes to give Wellington another chance to rally. Walker connected with Bean on a fourth and six to move the chains and keep the drive alive. With 1:28 left to play, the Hawk defense pressured the Wellington offense, forcing Walker to roll out. The Hawks forced a turnover on downs and consumed the remaining seconds on the clock to secure the 12-7 win.
Hawk rusher Emma Wagenman was relentless on pressuring the Wellington offense most of the night.
The victory improved the Seminole Ridge record to 5-0, while Wellington fell to 5-2. The two teams will likely see each other again in the district playoffs.