Hilliard racks up 4 TDs to help keep Hornets undefeated
Running back Dontrell Hilliard and Scotlandville opened up their District 4-5A campaign with a bang on Friday night at Bronco Stadium. Thanks in large part to four touchdowns from Hilliard, the Hornets (3-0, 1-0) topped Zachary, 38-19, and kept their undefeated record in tact for another week.
“We kind of felt our way out in the first half and then turned it on in the second half,” said Scotlandville coach Eric Randall. “These kids are smart and come to work every day and they grow up a little bit every day.”
After being bottled up for much of the first half, Hilliard broke out in the second half with two rushing touchdowns and a 75-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter to put the Hornets up for good.
The senior running back finished with 89 rushing yards, 119 receiving yards and four touchdowns, leading the Hornets in all three.
“He’s had a very great career here,” Randall said of Hilliard. “He’s got to be a leader on and off the field and he is doing exactly what we ask of him. He can run and catch passes with the best of them.”
The Broncos (2-2, 0-1) had their chances to deliver Scotlandville its first loss, however two scoreless outings inside the five-yard line spelled doom for coach Neil Weiner’s squad.
“Our guys came out confident,” said Weiner. “It kind of rips your heart out. Their coaches hand the defense ready to go. It’s gut wrenching.”
The Zachary defense opened the game by forcing a quick three and out after Scotlandville was pinned inside its own 5-yard line on the opening kickoff. The Broncos’ offense used the good starting field position to take a 6-0 lead on an 11-yard run up the middle by running back Forrest Town.
Scotlandville drew even at the 11:42 mark in the second quarter on a 42-yard touchdown by Darion Williams.
On third-and-one, the senior quarterback took the snap and was met at the line of scrimmage by a host of Broncos but he somehow avoided going down for a loss, then used his speed to break into the open field for the score.
Williams completed 11 passes for 234 yards and two touchdowns, while also totaling 78 yards on the ground.
“He showed that he can make plays with his feet as well as his arm,” said Randall. “He’s one of our leaders too.”
The Broncos had a chance to take the lead after a blocked punt gave the offense the ball at the Scotlandville 26 yard line. 25 of those yards were quickly tallied on a reception by D.Q. Henry, putting Zachary just a yard away from the go ahead touchdown.
But after two failed sneak attempts by Williams and a two-yard loss by Town, Thomas McHugh’s 20 yard field goal attempt bounced off the right upright to keep the deadlock.
“That was big,” said Randall. “Our defense came to play.”
With under a minute to go in the first half, The Hornets took their first lead of the night on a one-yard run by Hilliard to cap off an 80-yard drive.
On the ensuing kickoff, Zachary’s Kentrell Fisher narrowly missed a touchdown with a return down to the Scotlandville five-yard line. Quarterback Lindsey Scott did the rest as he took an option keeper for a touchdown. McHugh’s point after try was good, putting the Broncos up 13-12 at halftime.
“It felt like everything was going our way at that point,” Weiner recalled. “The kids came out for the second half fired up but we just couldn’t get anything going.”
After recording just 10 first half yards, Hilliard finally found some open space in the third quarter with four carries for 17 yards including a 6-yard touchdown run.
On Scotlandville’s next possession, Hilliard made an impact once again, but this time through the air as Williams connected with him on a third and long for a 75-yard touchdown pass to put the Hornets ahead, 26-13.
“He showed that if he can get into the open field that he is as good as anyone,” said Randall. “I love to watch those plays from him because you know that he plays with passion.”
Zachary cut its deficit to seven points early in the fourth quarter on a three-yard run by Scott, but Scotlandville delivered the knockout punch with a touchdown reception by Chris Johnson and another touchdown run from Hilliard.
Scott threw for 58 yards and rushing for for 60 yards.
and two scores.