With USC Coach Clay Helton and Michigan Coach Jim Harbaugh standing on opposite sidelines, players from Dorsey and Hawkins had even more incentive to show off their skills in a battle for first place in the Coliseum League on Thursday night at Rancho Cienega Park.
And what a game it was.
It took a 27-yard field goal by Brandon Sanchez as time expired to give unbeaten Hawkins (7-0, 2-0) a 24-21 victory over the Dons (4-3, 1-1).
There was an abundance of college-ready players on display.
Greg Johnson of Hawkins, an Arizona commit, rushed 190 yards in 29 carries and kept picking up yards with second and third efforts.
Marvin Boyd, a 6-foot-4, 310-pound defensive lineman, was throwing around Dorsey players as if they were a tackling dummy. He forced one fumble, recovered another fumble and recorded two tackles for losses in the first half when Hawkins took a 14-7 lead.
Jarell Mickens, the younger brother of former Dorsey and Washington receiver Jaydon Mickens, caught a 68-yard touchdown pass.
Jalen Hall, one of the top junior receivers in the country for Hawkins, caught a 20-yard touchdown pass. Joseph Branch had a 93-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the second half.
Sophomore defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux, one of the top pass rushers for Dorsey, faced a strong challenge from Hawkins offensive tackle Quron Cleveland, who was doing as good a job as anyone this season in trying to block Thibodeaux.
Three lost fumbles and an interception in the end zone proved costly for Dorsey, but the Dons rallied in the second half to tie the game, 21-21.
Elijah Boykins made a spectacular catch in the left corner of the end zone before stepping out of bounds for a five-yard touchdown catch in the fourth quarter to pull the Dons with 21-19.
Then Dorsey's defense put the pressure on Hawkins quarterback Dylan Lemle, who was called for intentional grounding in the end zone, resulting in a safety to tie the game, 21-21, with 6:38 left.
Dorsey's third lost fumble with 3:54 left on the Hawkins 39 might have been the key moment of the night.
It gave Hawkins' high-powered offense one final opportunity, and Johnson's running put the Hawks in position for Sanchez to deliver.
Hawkins, a City Section Division II team, gets to play Los Angeles next week. Dorsey will take on Crenshaw in a 10 a.m. game next Saturday at the Coliseum.
Those four teams are all pretty equal in the Coliseum League, which means more dramatic football is ahead.