(October 17th, 2014)-GIBSONBURG: The toast of the Toledo Area Athletic Conference (TAAC), Gibsonburg tends to give teams more than they can handle during their games. Hilltop experienced this first hand on Friday, losing the game 51-7.
Hilltop allowed four touchdowns and a safety in the first quarter alone, putting the game out of reach early on. With another score in the second period, and two more in the third, Gibsonburg pumped the breaks in the fourth quarter. Hilltop, meanwhile, got on the board late in the game, with sophomore quarterback Quinn Smith connecting with Mikel Burlew for a 17 yard touchdown with just over four minutes to go in the game.
The Cadets managed 159 yards of total offense, giving up 495 to Gibsonburg. Smith himself passes for 179 yards while going 17 of 37 passing with 1 touchdown and 4 interceptions. This is a telling stat, as Hilltop rushed for -20 yards in the game. This is a legitimate number, as not one rusher from Hilltop finished the night with a positive yard on the ground.
Burlew led the team in both receptions and receiving yards, bringing in 4 balls for 70 yards. Zack VanDyke also made 4 catches, gaining 33 yards receiving. Quinton Miller had three receptions for 35 yards as well.
Justin Ashenfelter had a busy day, as Hilltop had to punt 6 times in the match-up. Averaging 25.8 yards per kick, he totaled 155 yards punting the ball away, with one of his kicks trapping Gibsonburg within their own twenty yard line.
Defensively, the Cadets showed some pride, despite the volume of the loss. Jalen Towers made 2 tackles for a loss, while Zack VanDyke and Quinn Smith each made 1. Quinton Miller also made an interecption against Gibsonburg quarterback Ryan Clark.
With Gibsonburg being among the elite of the TAAC and well beyond it, this loss shouldn’t come as a total surprise. In a rebuilding year, Hilltop stood little chance against such a polished team given their youth. Yet that likely gives little comfort to the Cadets themselves, who should expect to win every time they step on the field. If they approach the game in that manner, eventually they won’t be the only ones who do so.
Hilltop will next see action this week, when they travel to Delta in a tough non-conference game.