TAMPA — During the regular season when Armwood was almost ridiculously manhandling opponents with ease, Hillsborough was the lone squad to even nick the Hawks’ armor.
Although it was still a 34-15 Armwood win.
Fast forward from that 19-point Hillsborough loss in October to Friday night and the Terriers were again in position to challenge the Hawks — this time with much more on the line. But Hillsborough could muster little against Armwood, which pounded the Terriers 39-6 in a Class 4A region semifinal.
And it wasn’t even Armwood’s best effort.
“We were flat,” said Armwood coach Sean Callahan, whose team has now beaten Hillsborough eight straight times. “I’m not sure if it’s because we played them before or maybe the kids are just tired of playing Hillsborough.”
Still, Armwood (12-0) scored touchdowns on offense, defense and special teams in advancing to Friday’s region final at home against Charlotte.
Hillsborough saw its season end at 8-4.
The Hawks jumped out to a 18-0 first-half lead, getting scores on a Javonte Sneed 12-yard run, a blocked punt returned 22 yards for a touchdown by Leon McQuay and a 37-yard fumble return by Jacob Zilbar.
The second half was more of the same as Armwood got a 47-yard interception return for a touchdown from D.J. Hitchman before Josh Grady and Matt Jones completed the scoring with short touchdown runs.
The Hawks’ defense was solid as well, holding the Terriers to 85 yards of total offense and only yielding a short touchdown run by Shawn Bryant in the fourth quarter.
“The film (of this game) won’t look that good,” Callahan said. “But our defense played physical. You have to have an attitude to play good defense and we did tonight.”