By Eric Shannon
Scoring on every first-half possession and holding the visiting Westville Yellowjackets to under 100 yards total offense, the Hilldale Hornets won in dominating fashion, 66-22 Friday night at Hornet Field.
Capping a second-place finish in District 3A-7, the Hornets (8-2, 5-1) will host Spiro, which lost a shot at a 3A-8 title against Checotah on Friday.
“This gets us into the next stage of the season, everyone is the same and it's win or go home beginning now,” said Hornets coach Chad Kirkhart. “There is no room for error now. We must execute and play like we want it.”
Execute is one thing the Hornets did almost flawlessly, especially in the first half of play, where they started every drive inside the Yellowjackets’ territory and led 52-0 at the half.
Defensively, they forced five fumbles on the night and held the Yellowjackets to just 22 yards rushing, minus 28 before a garbage touchdown late in the game.
Scoring almost at will, Seth Reheard got the Hornets on the board first with a six-yard run with 7:44 left in the first quarter, capping a seven-play drive.
After a fumbled kickoff return by the Yellowjackets, Hunter Woods scored two plays later from five yards out and moved the home team to a 14-0 lead with 7:00 to go in the first quarter.
Five minutes later, Chandler Puckett went to the air for the first of his two touchdown tosses, connecting with Bradley Campbell from 16 yards out, the two-point conversion pushing the lead to 22-0 with 2:17 left in the opening quarter.
On the Yellowjackets ensuing possession, the Hornets' Jake Adams trapped quarterback Blaine Burns in the end zone for a safety and two points for the defense, making it 24-0 with 1:19 to go in the first quarter.
“We played very solid defense all night,” said Kirkhart. “We tackled well, we surrounded the ball well, the kids stopped the run and didn't let them move the ball on us.”
Before it was all said and done, Campbell snagged his second touchdown pass from Puckett on the night and pushed the home team's lead to 31-0 to end the first quarter.
Reheard punched in another touchdown run to open the second quarter from five yards out and Woods rang in a pair, his second and third on the night. The later came on a 64-yard touchdown run, after appearing to be trapped at his own 30-yard line. He spun out of two tackles and sprinted up the right sideline with 1:59 left in the second quarter for the score.
“We wanted to just go out and execute and play well tonight,” said Kirkhart. “Games like this we just want to play well and play solid.”
The Yellowjackets did throw some points on the board late, as the Hornet starters never saw the field after halftime. A 65-yard pass strike and a 60-yard touchdown run by Dylan Grant kept the visitors out of the negative yardage on the night.
Mitchell Croftcheck did return a kickoff 70 yards to paydirt and offset one score on the night and Devin Cochran punched in a touchdown from seven yards out in the fourth quarter for the final stamp.
HILLDALE 66, WESTVILLE 22
WESTVILLE 0 0 8 14–22
HILLDALE 31 21 6 8–66
HHS - Seth Reheard 6 run (Chandler Puckett run), 7:44
HHS - Hunter Woods 5 run (Pass fail), 7:00
HHS - Bradley Campbell 16 pass from Puckett (Woods run), 2:17
HHS - Blaine Burns tackled in end zone by Jake Adams 1:19
HHS - Campbell 27 pass from Puckett (Puckett kick), :34
HHS - Reheard 7 run (Puckett kick), 10:28
HHS - Woods 6 run (Puckett kick), 5:21
HHS - Woods 64 run (Puckett kick), 1:59
WHS - Caden Unger 65 pass from Blaine Burns (John Pruitt run), 2:50
HHS - Mitchell Croftcheck 70 kickoff return (pass fail), 2:33
WHS - Dylon Grant 60 run (kick fail), 9:55
HHS - Devin Cochran 7 run (Croftschech run), 2:50
WHS - Gavin Beach 70 kickoff return (Wyatt Green run), 2:33
First Downs 6 21
Rushes -Yards 27-22 39-301
Passing C-A-I 3-13-1 12-18-0
Passing Yards 71 125
Punts - Avg. 7-30 3-27
Penalties Yards 1-5 7-65
Fum - Lost 5-2 1-0
RUSHING -HHS - Hunter Woods 8-105, Chandler Puckett 2-42, Seth Reheard 3-25, Devin Cochran 15-98, Mitchell Croftschech 5-2
PASSING - HHS - Puckett 9-12-0-2-103, Mitchell Croftschech 3-6-0-0-23
RECEIVING - HHS - Bradley Campbell 6-92, Dakota Holmes 4-41, Issac McWilliams 2-18