SEFFNER — Armwood is in tip-top playoff form. The Hawks (10-1) blanked visiting Melbourne on Friday night, 57-0 in a Class 7A, Region 2 quarterfinal.
Armwood will host Bloomingdale next week. The Hawks won a road tilt against the Bulls during the third week of the season, 28-0.
This marks the eighth-straight season with a playoff appearance for Armwood. The Hawks have posted a 99-14 record dating to 2012 with five state runnerup finishes. That includes two in a row.
The program is 37-4 under coach Evan Davis since he took over in 2017.
“It’s playoffs. This is where we like to live is the playoffs,” Davis said. “We have a lot of guys touching the ball and doing the right stuff. We definitely have to get healthy.”
Armwood has now recorded a shutout in six consecutive games. The last points surrendered came back on Sept. 27 in a 48-3 win over Wiregrass Ranch.
Melbourne (7-4) punted on five of its eight drives on the night, passing midfield just once. The other three drives ended in interceptions.
“Defensively, I thought we played awesome tonight. We are getting turnovers. We are doing a really good job,” Davis said. “Offensively, we had a lot of guys touch the football. We had a lot of penalties that we have to clean up. That is my big concern moving forward.”
With leading rusher, senior running back Eric Wilson held out, sophomore James Smiley saw extended action while junior quarterback Cam’Ron Ransom and junior athlete Charles Montgomery made splash plays as well.
Smiley had 92 total yards and a touchdown on the night. His score was a 4-yard scamper in the second quarter to put his group ahead 23-0.
Montgomery had the game’s first two touchdowns, a 61-yard run and a 15-yard run, just two minutes apart.
He had a 57-yard catch late in the second quarter, which led to a 3-yard touchdown strike from Ransom to senior wideout Jaquavius Gilliespy moments later.
The Hawks decided to start a freshman at left guard in Ethan Beasley as they held out players to get them back to full health.
“That is a position at the offensive line we started with a lot of depth, but, boy, do we feel thin now,” Davis said.
Defensively, junior cornerback Noah Biglow flashed in coverage often with two interceptions. His first came early in the opening quarter, leading to Montgomery’s second score. The next one was returned 24 yards for a touchdown to put Armwood ahead 57-0 in the closing minutes of the game.
“That is big for us. The other three guys starting in the secondary, two of them are two-year starters and the other one was a starter for us last year,” Davis said. “If I had to pick a guy out of the three, it would be Noah that people question. He showed up tonight.”
Sophomore linebacker Jyrin Eston had the other pick for the Hawks defense. The intimidating defensive line duo of senior Clyde Pinder Jr., a North Carolina commit, and junior Desmond Watson combined for nine tackles, including five for a loss.
The other scores for Armwood came at the end of the first half on a 20-yard hookup between senior quarterback Hunter Helton and Agiye Hall. Then in the second half, Ransom had a 5-yard touchdown run while third-string freshman quarterback Murdolph Jones found senior wide receiver Jaheem Haynes on a 2-yard strike.
Region football semifinals
All games 7:30 p.m. next Friday.
Class 2A, Region 3
• No. 3 Seffner Christian at No. 2 Northside Christian
• No. 4 Admiral Farragut at No. 1 Cambridge Christian
Class 3A, Region 3
• No. 5 Clearwater Central Catholic at No. 1 Berkeley Prep
Class 4A, Region 3
• No. 4 Clewiston at No. 1 Lakewood
• No. 3 Tampa Catholic at No. 2 Delray Beach American Heritage
Class 5A, Region 3
• No. 8 Chamberlain at No. 4 Jesuit
Class 5A, Region 2
• No. 4 Nature Coast at No. 1 Orlando Jones
Class 6A, Region 2
• No. 5 Clearwater at No. 1 Gaither
• No. 3 Lake Minneola at No. 2 Largo
Class 7A, Region 3
• No. 3 Manatee at No. 2 Mitchell
Class 7A, Region 2
• No. 5 Bloomingdale at No. 1 Armwood
• No. 6 Tampa Bay Tech at No. 2 Lakeland
Class 8A, Region 2
• No. 4 Steinbrenner at No. 1 Sarasota Riverview