(October 24th, 2014)-DELTA: The youthful Cadets of Hilltop attempted to invade the field of North Western Ohio Athletic League power Delta on Friday. They were unprepared for what awaited them.
When the dust cleared, Hilltop found itself on the wrong end of a 61-0 score. The Panthers did most of their work in the first half, only scoring once during the second. Jalen Towers and Ethan Dunson each recorded tackles for loss for the Cadets, making them the defensive highlights of the game for Hilltop.
Totaling 453 yards of offense, the Panthers would not be stopped by Hilltop. 396 of those yards came on the ground, with 34 of Delta’s 38 plays implementing their running game. The hometown Panthers also passes for 57 yards and a touchdown.
Offensively, Hilltop managed 116 yards on the night. Passing for 120 yards, the Cadets rushed for -4 against a stout Delta defense. Quarterback Quinn Smith led his team with 120 yards passing and 2 interceptions, hitting 10 of his 30 attempts.
Catching most of those passes was Zack VanDyke, bringing in 4 balls for 36 yards. Mikel Burlew earned the most yards of any receiver, catching two pass attempts for 62 yards Tyler Suboski and Taylor Trent also made 2 catches each.
Hilltop lost the turnover battle against Delta, committing 2 compared to Delta’s 0. This hindered what scoring opportunities the Cadets would have had.
Holding the ball nearly twice as long as Delta, the Hilltop boys were unable to capitalize on this advantage in time of possession. Of course, with 8 first downs on the game, and Delta making 17 themselves, that stat might be a little deceptive.
Such a young team playing against an elite opponent on the road is a recipe for disaster, and that was certainly the case on Friday. Hilltop wasn’t ready for this match-up. However, the experience gained from playing in such games may pay dividends down the road.
Hilltop will finish out their season against Toledo Area Athletic Conference opponent Northwood on Friday.