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Ayala Comes Up Aces Against Hawks

Palatine junior quarterback Joe Ayala tossed two second-half touchdown passes and added a score on the ground to help the Pirates upend visiting Hoffman Estates 21-0 in MSL West action Friday night.

Running back Ronald Todd gashed the Hawks defense for 169 yards on the ground as the Pirates moved to 2-5 overall on the season and avenged it's 47-44 loss to Hoffman from a year ago in the process.

"At the end of the day, we won the battle up front with the O-line and D-line, won the war in the trenches with the "Nasty Nine," said Pirates head coach Corey Olson. "I was really proud of our guys tonight."

After a scoreless first half, the Hawks received the second-walk kickoff, but shortly thereafter, turned the ball over to set up Palatine at the Hoffman 36. Ayala wasted no time matriculating his team down the field and hit Luka Popovic on a 21-yard TD strike with 9:55 left in the third.

Roughly six minutes later, Ayala and company were on the march again and with his team facing a 3rd and 13 from the Hawks 14, He found Todd for a 14-yard TD pass to put the Pirates up 12-0. the 2-point conversion was successful when Ayala found Charles Harris in the back of the end zone for a 14-0 advantage.

Ayala then struck pay dirt early in the fourth quarter to widen the Pirates lead to 21-0. Brandon Hernandez tallied three sacks on the evening to help the Pirates preserve the shutout.

"The kids are getting better every week," added Olson. "They've played a tough schedule so far and knew that they (Hawks) were battle tested coming in, but we responded to it well tonight."

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