St. Georges wasn’t a passing team.
Zach Wright threw two touchdown passes in the final 6:12 as the Hawks erased a 16-point deficit and stunned Caravel 27-23 in a Division II showdown at St. Georges.
The second-ranked Hawks (8-1) had only attempted 44 passes in their first eight games. On Saturday, their first pass attempt came with four minutes left in the third quarter. But Wright went on to complete 5 of 6 for 158 yards and the two big scores.
“We’re probably going to come in [today], draw up some shotgun with five wide receivers and throw the ball like BYU,” St. Georges coach J.D. Maull said with a laugh. “Now we’ve seen what we can do.”
The Hawks’ Wing-T attack heavily favors the run, but the aerial display was necessary after third-ranked Caravel (6-3) built a 23-7 lead with 1:51 left in the third quarter.
“I told my quarterback, ‘Hey, don’t get too used to this,’ ” Maull said. “[Caravel] did a really good job trying to stop our pitch with the two Selbys. And when you get down by a couple of touchdowns, you’ve got to start throwing the ball a little bit. Zach made some great plays.”
The teams traded touchdowns in the first quarter, with Caravel’s Derrick Groomes throwing a 17-yard scoring pass to Aaron Hudson and St. Georges’ Taronn Selby answering with a 36-yard TD run.
It was tied at 7 at the half, but the Buccaneers took control in the third quarter. They started with a 10-play, 61-yard drive capped by Hudson’s 17-yard run for a 14-7 lead.
St. Georges was called for a personal foul in its own end zone on its next possession, resulting in a Caravel safety. Then the Buccaneers took the ensuing free kick and rolled 46 yards in six plays, with Jake Shriner’s 8-yard scoring run pushing Caravel ahead 23-7.
The Hawks answered with Selby’s 34-yard touchdown run on the first play of the fourth, only to see the Buccaneers march down the field again. But St. Georges’ Travis Histed made the game-changing hit, causing a fumble recovered by the Hawks’ Mohamed Barry at the St. Georges 12.
Wright immediately completed a 22-yard pass to Jiare Hicks. On the next play, Selby took another toss from Wright and scooted 66 yards to pull the Hawks within 23-20 with 6:12 to play.
Caravel chewed the clock with a 13-play drive but finally had to punt and left St. Georges at its own 37 with 1:46 remaining. Two passes fell incomplete before Wright hit Selby for 11 yards and a first down.
Then Wright connected with Hicks, and the 6-foot-3, 214-pound tight end broke a tackle and found clear sailing down the right sideline. The 52-yard touchdown gave St. Georges a 27-23 lead with 1:13 to go.
“When I caught the ball, I was thinking, ‘Just get upfield and just keep going. Just be big,’ ” Hicks said. “People tell me to stop dancing, so I just got upfield. … I felt fast, but I don’t know if I was. It was enough to get in the end zone.”
The Buccaneers had their 14-game winning streak against in-state opponents snapped.