He wears a running back's jersey number on his wide receiver frame. He throws the football like a submarining relief pitcher. But what he is is Lakewood's new starting quarterback. Under him, the Spartans' offense may never be the same.
Tony Hanna threw for 117 yards in the first half and scored on a pair of short runs, leading the Spartans to a 29-12 win over Gibbs on Friday night at Newton-Wiliams Memorial Field.
"Tony has been working real hard and just earned the starting job," Lakewood coach Rich Ninis said of Hanna, who got the nod over the injured Trevor Mallory during practices this week. "We're using the run-and-shoot now, not the wing-T anymore, and Tony's been doing a super job. He is our quarterback of the future."
Hanna _ No. 33 in the program _ completed his first four passes of the game and finished the first half 7-of-10 with no interceptions. He guided the Lakewood offense through three crisp early scoring drives and brought his team to a 21-6 halftime lead.
Gibbs fumbled away its first possession, and the Spartans took over at midfield. Four runs moved the ball to the Gladiators 33, but a Lakewood clipping penalty negated the gain.
Facing a third-and-21 at the Gibbs 42, Hanna hit Thomas Williams for a 17-yard gain. Lakewood chose to go for it on fourth-and-3, and Hanna connected with Pat Stevens for 14 more yards. Three plays later, Hanna bootlegged around the right side for five yards and eluded a goal line tackle for his first touchdown.
Gibbs retaliated four minutes later. Led by four Mike Frazier runs and a 36-yard completion from quarterback Arian Odom to Adrian Roberson, the Gladiators marched from their own 27 to the Lakewood 1. Odom plunged in for the score, but the extra point failed. Lakewood led 7-6.
The Gladiators could get no closer. The Spartans recovered another Gibbs fumble, and Hanna capitalized again, hitting Xavier Thomas for a 25-yard pickup on a second-and-9 and scoring on another 5-yard keeper four minutes into the second quarter.
Fullback Derrick Thomas put Lakewood ahead by two touchdowns with a 1-yard dive three minutes later. Hiram Marshall concluded the Spartans scoring with a 43-yard sprint down the left sideline midway through the third quarter.
"This run-and-shoot has been working well, but tonight it worked and we won," said Lakewood offensive coordinator Keith Moran, whose charges have gained more than 300 yards in each of the past four games.
"Tony's been busting his butt in practice, and tonight it all worked together," Moran said. "He's very awkward to watch out there. But, hey, he throws the ball 40 yards and he gets the job done."