(October 31st, 2014): WEST UNITY: Toledo Area Athletic Conference power Northwood came to Hilltop’s doorstep on Halloween, and they were treated to a 57-0 victory against the young Cadets.
And, with only 52 yards of total offense, it’s safe to say the Cadets were the victims of a cruel trick.
The reason for such a huge disparity in score, as well as the lack of offense by Hilltop, is a simple one; the Rangers were simply bigger and stronger than the Cadets. Depth was surely an issue also, as Northwood had a significantly deeper bench from which to rotate players.
Hilltop’s offensive line couldn’t block the Northwood defensive front, leading to great penetration by the Rangers defense all night. This led to the Cadets being held to 4 yards rushing for the game, and Northwood defenders making 8 tackles for loss, including 4 sacks.
David Smith led Hilltop in rushing with 18 yards on 8 carries. Kristian Grapengeter gained 6 yards on his lone attempt, while Mikel Burlew earned a single yard on his only carry on the evening. All other Cadet rushers were stopped for negative yardage.
Cadet quarterback Quinn Smith had a rough evening as well. The sophomore threw for 48 yards, completing 7 of his 21 passes. While he didn’t pass for a touchdown, he did not throw an interception, either.
Four receivers caught those 7 passes. Tyler Suboski brought in 2 balls for 22 yards. David Smith and Zack Van Dyke made 2 receptions for 5 yards each. Mikel Burlew caught a single pass, gaining 16 yards on the play.
The Hilltop defense was ineffective against the Rangers’ triple-option attack. Northwood produced 6 rushing touchdowns against the Cadets, with seven of their ball carriers running for double digit yardage. With the lack of passing attempts by the visiting Rangers, Hilltop was only able to manage a single tackle for loss during the game, as Kohl Collins and Jalen Towers combined for the stop behind the line of scrimmage.
Adding to the tragedy of the Cadets defeat at the hands of Northwood is that it came on Senior Night.
Hilltop ends a rough season, going 1-9 on the year, with the victory coming in dramatic fashion against Antwerp.