By: Forrest R. Church, Publisher
THE VILLAGE REPORTER
LUCAS, OHIO – If you would have stated at the local coffee shop that the Hilltop Cadets would have been the only Williams County school to make it to the OHSAA playoffs back in August, you may have received some strange looks. The Cadet Football program has struggled the last several years and going into the 2015 campaign it was common knowledge that the number of young men going out for the team was minimal. The Cadets with fresh coaching did the unthinkable this season and indeed shocked most local fans being the only team in Williams County to play eleven games.
The 2015 campaign started with an unbelievable 6-0 start before the Cadets hit harder scheduled competition, dropping the last four games to finish the regular season 6-4. In Ohio when you play quality opponents in a tough league, that record will advance your season.
A mid afternoon rally at the school was celebrated, followed by a parade led by the West Unity Police Department and Brady Township Fire Department sending the Cadets three hours away to Lucas, Ohio where the 9-1 Cubs would play host to HHS. Despite a six hour round trip, the Cadet faithful made a strong showing. Lucas Athletic Director Eric Teague stated there were 800 presale tickets sold between the two schools.
The game proved to be dominated by the bigger Cubs from the early stages, aided by numerous Cadet miscues and penalties that shut down several early Hilltop drives that had scoring potential. Productive offensive scoring potential would prove hard to come by late first quarter through the rest of the contest for the visitors. The host Cubs had no problem finding the end zone, scoring on their first eight possessions of the game.
The Cubs gained 440 yards of total offense with 379 of these yards coming on the ground, dominating time of possession (a running clock in the second half per Ohio’s mercy rule was utilized). The Cubs recorded 25 first downs. Hilltop was limited to 22 yards rushing on 16 tries and 131 yards of total offense. The Cadets scored on the final play of the game on a Tyler Suboski 12-yard pass from Quinn Smith. Hilltop had eight first downs in the contest.
Hilltop ended its season 6-5, gaining valuable tournament experience that will no doubt assist the program in years to come.
Forrest R. Church may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org