TAMPA — It had been 23 days since Armwood played a regular-season game. The lengthy layoff could have been a concern, especially with the Hawks facing Jefferson and its high-powered offense.
The sluggishness lasted about seven minutes.
The Dragons went on a time-consuming drive on the opening possession, deftly mixing the pass with the run. It ended with a 21-yard field goal by Aaron Quiambao.
After that, it was all Armwood.
There were big plays in the running and passing game. The special teams had an impact, too.
The result was a 42-3 victory for the Hawks that was basically over at halftime.
"My biggest worry was fatigue," Armwood coach Evan Davis said. "We didn't get to run or lift for a lot of that time. So I was worried about that. But I knew there wouldn't be a lack of focus. Our kids want to play football. They were so hungry and ready to go."
It took three plays on offense for the Hawks (2-0) to take the lead for good. Running back Brian Snead, an Ohio State recruit, went right before switching directions. He found a crease on the left and was off to the races, sprinting down the sideline on a 69-yard touchdown run.
That was the first of many breakaway runs. Jerome Ford had the next one, running down the left sideline on a 65-yard touchdown score that gave Armwood a 14-3 lead.
Soon after, the Hawks' special teams got in on the scoring. James Miller blocked a punt and Ford scooped up the ball and ran for a touchdown, putting the Hawks ahead 21-3.
Late in the second quarter, Armwood quarterback Devin Black hit Snead on a 55-yard touchdown pass to make it 28-3 at the half.
While the offense and special teams provided plenty of points on highlight-worthy plays, the Hawks' defense might have come up with the biggest performance.
Armwood held Jefferson to 41 yards of offense in the first, nearly all of it coming on the opening drive. De'Kwan Hughes had an interception and the front seven came up with four first-half sacks, including a ferocious one by Miller that forced quarterback Matt Gaffney to leave the game for precautionary reasons.
"I'm not going to lie I was trying to knock him out," Miller said.
The defense saved its best for last, stopping the Dragons on four straight plays at the 2-yard line in the fourth quarter to keep Jefferson from scoring a touchdown. In the fourth, Black scored on an 18-yard run and Larry Anderson ran 7 yards for a touchdown to start the running clock.
"I'm glad that we came out and played fast and physical so we could just cruise," Davis said.