Posted at: 09/09/2013 9:11 PM
Updated at: 09/10/2013 11:37 PM
By: Laura Kennedy
Seventy-two years of football tradition hung over Hermantown on Friday night as the Hawks went head-to-head with the Proctor Rails in the annual hammer game. Still scoreless at halftime, Hermantown head coach Daryl Illikainen says the hawks defense stepped up.
"They didn't give them any big plays, keep everything in front," he said. "They gave them a few yards but didnt let them break loose, so our defense set the tone."
They also put points on the board in the second half and held proctor to a goose egg. With a 22-0 victory, Hermantown brought the hammer home for the third straight year. Seniors Justin Brendon and Brock Taylor couldn't be more proud of their team.
"Definitely the defense turned up the intensity which I liked to see, especially being a strong defensive player myself, I like to see my guys fired up and make those big plays," said Taylor, an offensive tackle and linebacker.
"It means everything. This game we played against Proctor is probably one of the biggest ones in our career," said Brendon, a tight end and defensive end. "We love going against Proctor and winning that hammer."
"The kids were just rocking and celebrating over the hammer," Illikainen said. "You feel great for the seniors. They are gonna remember this for a long time now."
1-1 after the first two weeks, the Hawks have found some aspects of their game they want to polish up before next week when Hibbing comes to town.
"We've got to continue to play good defense, and just bring the physical game and hopefully put some touchdowns on the Bluejackets," Illikainen said.
"We have to step up our offense, blocking schemes and things like that and just keep the intensity that we have on defense and we should be great," Taylor said.