KIRKLAND – Hiawatha’s Marek Mlodzianowski didn’t see any action in the Hawks’ 3-1 boys soccer win Friday afternoon.
Dealing with mono, the Hiawatha senior had to watch from the sideline as his team beat Earlville-Leland on the road.
But after getting back to campus just in time for Hiawatha’s home opener, the Hawks’ kicker was anything but a spectator Friday night.
Mlodzianowski nailed two 39-yard field goals, including the game-winner with 57 seconds to go in the fourth quarter, and Hiawatha snapped a 13-game losing streak with a 14-13 win over Chicago Hope Academy.
“I just took my time, took some deep breaths on the sideline because I knew it was coming,” Mlodzianowski said. “These were the biggest kicks in my career, by far.”
Hiawatha (1-1) hadn’t won since Week 6 of the 2010 season, but came ready to play against Hope. Hiawatha’s defense held Hope (1-1) in check for much of the first half, but the Hawks were burned on a big special teams play early in the second quarter.
Facing fourth-and-11 at midfield, the Phoenix faked a punt and quarterback Ricky Mancilla slipped a few tacklers and found Rashad Johnson wide open in the middle of the field for a 51-yard touchdown pass.
Yet Hiawatha responded on its first possession of the third quarter, putting together a seven-play, 73-yard scoring drive that was capped by a 22-yard touchdown run from senior running back Dakotah Quimby. The Hawks would take the lead, 8-7, on a Quimby run for the two-point conversion.
“Last week in the second half you could tell their heads were down,” Hiawatha coach Sean Donnelly said. “They [bounced back] and did a great job and I’m really proud of their attitude in that they kept going.”
A much-improved running game and timely completions by junior quarterback Mike Mercado helped put Mlodzianowski in position to kick field goals on the Hawks’ final two possessions of the fourth quarter.
The Hawks recovered an onside squib kick with less than a minute left to seal the game.
Quimby ran for 68 yards on 20 carries with a touchdown.
Hiawatha hosts Chicago CICS/Longwood next Friday.