(September 27th, 2014)-WEST UNITY: The Homecoming Game was a seesaw event for the Hilltop Football Team.
After scoring first, thanks to the foot of placekicker Justin Ashenfelter, the Cadets soon found themselves down on the scoreboard. Cardinal Stritch gained the advantage thanks to a touchdown pass by quarterback Joe Sinay and a fumble recovery returned for a touchdown. A successful extra point and a missed two point conversion put Hilltop on the wrong end of a 13-3 score to end the first quarter.
Hilltop began to work their way back into the game in the second period. With just over three minutes to go until halftime, Cadet quarterback Quinn Smith connected with Mikel Burlew for a 24 yard touchdown pass. The two point conversion attempt was unsuccessful, and Hilltop was still down 13-9.
Quinn found Burlew again in the third quarter, this time from 14 yards out. Again, Hilltop was unable to convert the two point attempt. They had regained the lead, however, going up 15-13.
Cardinal Stritch scored twice in the fourth quarter to wrestle back the lead and ultimately win the game. With over ten minutes left in the game, Sinay ran the ball into the end zone from 4 yards away, giving Stritch a 21-15 lead. Then, with just under two minutes to go, Sinay rushed for a 45 yard touchdown, putting his team up 27-15, where it stayed for the remainder of the game.
Hilltop was outgained by Cardinal Stritch in total yards 346-212. The Cadets did 70 produce more passing yards at 173 to Stritch’s 103. The issue for the Cadets was the running game, as they were out rushed 243-39. Commiting four turnovers while forcing none was also detrimental to the Hilltop effort.
Smith threw for 145 yards with 2 touchdowns and an interception, completing 8 of his 32 pass attempts.
David Smith was the leading rusher for Hilltop, gaining 19 yards of 4 rushes. Quinn Smith ran the ball himself 7 times, gaining 13 yards overall. Tyler Suboski amassed 93 receiving yards on 4 catches. Burlew caught the ball 3 times for 66 yards, but also had both touchdown receptions in the game.
Defensively, Hilltop was able to attack Stritch behind the line of scrimmage. Joe Shilling had 7 tackles for a loss, including 2 sacks on the night. Zack VanDyke made 3 sacks, while Jalen Towers contributed another 2. Kohl Colins also penatrated the line, earning a sack as well.
Hilltop has to find a way to get their rushing game going if they have any chance to salvage this season. They travel to Danbury next week.
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