Facing its stiffest competition of the season so far, the Manchester Township Marching Hawks finished fifth overall at the New Jersey state championships at Rutgers University this weekend.
With top bands like Weehawken and Riverside on hand, the Hawks put up a score of 76.688, finishing less than half a point out of the top three and little more than a point behind second-place Riverside.
Weehawken dominated the competition, scoring a 79.8 and collecting four special awards in taking first place.
The fifth-place finish snapped a Manchester streak of first- and second-place finishes through the first five competitions of 2013, but the band has several more chances to better itself.
The Hawks have competitions at Brick and Washington Township in Gloucester County in the run-up to the U.S. Bands Group 1A Nationals at J. Birney Crum Stadium in Allentown, PA, on Nov. 9, which will feature bands from Massachusetts to Virginia.