On a cold and windy Friday night in Hamburg, New York, the first homecoming football game in Hawk’s history took place at the Hawk’s Nest against a very talented D2 team, Lincoln University from Oakland, California.
The frigid weather didn’t stop Hawks fans from showing their support for their team. The environment was electric as fans showed their excitement throughout the duration of the game cheering loud and proud. “With this being their first season in history,” one fan said, “I would like to congratulate them on being their very best with the very best coaches we have around here.”
Head Coach Jim Kubiak said he loved seeing fans coming out to support the team. “ I think the atmosphere was very positive. Friday night game for our players, a lot of them from Western New York, very exciting.”
Unfortunately, the Hawks couldn’t get it done on their home turf losing 70-0 to the Oaklanders. “We had an opponent who was in from California; has played a bunch of Division 1 teams. We knew they were going to be big and physical, and they were big and physical.”
Although the score was not what the coaching staff wanted from their squad, there were some positive takeaways that came out of this game. In the first quarter, the Hawks showed signs of strength in the first drive on the defensive side of the ball, shutting down the Oaklanders forcing them to punt the football away. By the end of the first, the score was 14-0 in favor of Lincoln. Defensive linemen Taivaughn Roach and Clifford Zeigler both led Hilbert in tackles with 11 each.
By the end of the 1st quarter, everything started to go downhill. Lincoln scored 56 unanswered points in the last three quarters of the game. Despite losing by 70, Coach Kubiak was still positive and appreciative of his team for never giving up and playing their best until the clock hit zero. “ I thought our guys continued to fight, and they played as hard as they could, and when bad things happened, they kept on fighting, and that’s what we were asking them to do. I was very happy with them coming back in the second half and giving everything they had.”
As Hilbert’s season comes to an end with only three games remaining, the program has dealt with many ups and downs from the beginning of the season to present. “ We came out to put a new program together from ground zero,” Kubiak said, “And that means that we have all freshman and sophomore guys. I think overall I’ve been really pleased with the guys who have stuck with it and continue to grow in the weight room and the leadership from some of our defensive guys and we need to continue to get better.”
Leaving the stadium, a fan shared, “I think Hilbert’s off to a little bit of a rocky start but, hey, I think they’ll pull through in the end. I mean, it’s going to take a while. This is a brand-new team and they’ve got a lot of potential, so we’ll see where it goes.”
Hilbert travels to Wooster, Ohio to play The College of Wooster Scots Saturday, October 22nd at 1:00 pm, aiming for their first win of the 2022 season.