Everything didn't go perfectly, but things went well enough that Armwood's players and coaches walked off the field Friday night with smiles on their faces.
The nationally ranked Hawks put on a solid showing in their 2008 debut, dealing Lake Gibson a 31-14 loss in a Kickoff Classic.
"We played good," safety Angelo Hadley said. "But we can play better. We've just got to work harder."
Armwood's starters certainly put in some good work, essentially dominating a solid Polk County program. The majority of the Hawks starters were pulled midway through the third quarter.
The defense was downright suffocating, limiting the Braves' offense to five first downs in the first half while forcing two turnovers. And the offense was efficient, especially in capitalizing on what the Hawks defense gave them. Both forced turnovers were converted into touchdowns.
"I believe we can take on anybody when we've got a healthy team," defensive lineman Ryne Giddins said.
Hawks quarterback Mywan Jackson accounted for 122 yards of offense and two touchdowns. He ran 22 yards for Armwood's first score and added a 26-yard scoring pass to Richard Jules in the second quarter. Backup Rob Jones hit running back Sherman Jessie on a 69-yard score to help the Hawks go into the half 24-0.
But the Hawks had some mistakes, notably on special teams. Lake Gibson's Anthony Woods returned the opening kickoff of the second half 90 yards for a score, and Woods had another long kickoff return in the fourth quarter that set up the Braves' other score, a 25-yard scamper by backup quarterback Jesse Fernandez.
"We'll correct that. No doubt about it," Armwood coach Sean Callahan said. "We had a lot of positives. We came out of here healthy. But we've still got a long ways to go."