JOHNS CREEK - After missing the postseason last year, Mill Creek was hoping for a return trip in 2009.
Injuries to key positions and a young squad derailed those dreams.
After Friday's 27-0 win over Northview, the Hawks need a win next week to secure a third-straight non-losing season.
Its not the goal Mill Creek had coming into the season, but the goals have been adjusted late in the year.
"We are always going to fight to win. That's the goal of the team," Hawks receiver Brandon Hayman said. "We're trying to get to 5-5. We have to get that. We don't want a losing season. That's not Mill Creek."
If Friday's win is any indication then the future looks bright for the Hawks. Mill Creek (4-5, 3-4 region) got two touchdowns from junior running backs Devonte Lewis and Tyler Cierski. Junior receiver Hayman added 10 catches for 125 yards, while sophomore QB John Russ was 17 of 21 for 220 yards.
"(Russ) settled in and had a great game," Mill Creek head coach Shannon Jarvis said. "He managed the game better tonight. I was proud of the whole offense."
Hayman's 10 catches gave him 49 for the season, breaking the Mill Creek single-season record of 44.
"That's what I'm supposed to do," Hayman said. "I don't really worry about (records). Since it happened, yeah, and we'll move on from there."
The Mill Creek defense recorded its first shutout of the season and didn't allow a Northview (2-7, 1-6) first down until late in the fourth quarter when both teams played backups. The Titans had just 155 yards of total offense in the game.
"Their offense is tough," Jarvis said. "You can break down at any time. I'm proud of our defense."
Northview had five fumbles in the game and the Hawks recovered two. The first set up the game's first score.
Northview quarterback Kane Whitehurst, the cousin of former Clemson standout Charlie Whitehurst, fumbled the snap and then fumbled on the pass and Clay Peery recovered for the Hawks. Lewis scored on a 51-yard run to put Mill Creek ahead 7-0 to start the second quarter.
Northview responded with its best possession, going 54 yards to the Mill Creek 26. The Hawks defense held the Titans to a 43-yard field goal attempt that was no good.
Russ completed 5 of 6 passes in the final 3:37 of the half to set up the next Mill Creek touchdown. The drive was highlighted by 25-yard gain by Hayman and a great catch by Kyle Freiberger to keep his feet in at the one. Freiberger finished with four catches for 68 yards.
"He had a great catch on the sideline," Jarvis said. "I thought John was throwing it away. Kyle played a great game."
Cierski, who has missed most of the season with an ankle injury, scored a one-yard touchdown to put Mill Creek ahead 14-0 at halftime.
"Our kids did a good job executing down the field," Jarvis said. "That was huge to get those points before the half. It was huge for momentum for us and hurting them, too."
Lewis scored his second TD on a 19-yard run and after a failed PAT Mill Creek led 20-0 in midway through the third quarter. Lewis was the game's leading rusher with 83 yards on seven carries.
A 37-yard pass by Russ to Freiberger put Mill Creek in scoring position. Cierski added his second TD on a two-yard run to put the Hawks up 27-0 with 6:11 left in the game.
Mill Creek will end its season next week against South Forsyth (1-8), hoping to salvage the year with a .500 record.
"We just want to continue to see some improvement," Jarvis said. "We've still got some juniors and sophomores that will continue to play and we want to finish 5-5 and try and springboard into next year. I'm proud of our kids' effort. I know the score wasn't flashy, but that's the last thing we're worried about."