On Friday Head Coach Kendrick Smith began to answer some of those questions as Shaw welcomed the Humphreys County Cowboys to town and defeated them 22-14.
With the win Shaw improved to 1-2 on the season and Humphreys County fell to 1-2.
"We are still working to figure some things out with injuries, but we finally was able to get our running game going strong and that really opened some things up for us," said Smith.
The shot in the arm that the Hawks running game needed came from freshman tailback Reggie Scott who finished the night with 109 yards on 16 carries, which was good for 6.8 yards per carry.
"Reggie is a young talented back who is getting better every week. He is pushing my other running backs to play harder and that's a good thing for us," said Smith.
The Hawks compiled 322 yards of total offense with 274 of those yards coming on the ground.
The Cowboys jumped out on the Hawks with a touchdown pass in the first quarter, the conversion attempt was successful to give Humphreys an 8-0 lead.
In the second quarter the Hawks were able to get on the board as Xavius Loggins scored on an eight yard run with 11:09 remaining in the first half to cap off a strong drive by the Hawks.
The conversion attempt failed, but the Hawks had closed the gap to 8-6.
The game remained locked at 8-6 for the rest of the quarter as the Humphreys took a two-point lead into the locker room.
The break seemed to be just what the football doctor ordered for Shaw as they came out with a renewed energy and focus toward running the football.
"We knew our strength last night was up front. We were doing too much in the first half and we just had to get back to basics and simplify things. We had to take advantage of what Humphreys County was giving," said Smith.
That commitment to running the football was evident in the third quarter as Andre Pruitt marched on a 39-yard touchdown run with 9:35 left in the quarter. Loggins added the two-point conversion for a 14-8 Shaw lead.
The Hawks continued to grind in the third quarter with a drive that resulted in five-yard touchdown run from Loggins with 1:11 remaining in the third quarter. Scott added the two-point conversion for a 22-6 lead.
Humphreys added a touchdown in the fourth quarter, but it was too little, too late as Shaw held on for a 22-14 victory.
In addition to Scott, the Hawks received a strong effort offensively from Loggins who finished with 54 yards on six carries and two touchdowns. Pruitt completed 5-of-16 passes for 48 yards and also had 77 yards on 10 carries with one touchdown.
Lerandel Allen led the Hawks with 13 tackles, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery, Justice Clay added seven tackles, Travelle Ware had six tackles, an interception and a fumble recovery.
The Hawks will open Region 2-1A action at 7 p.m. Friday at home versus Durant.