CLAREMORE — Hilldale got an easy win in its season opener. Unfortunately for head coach David Blevins it wasn’t what he needed to get answers as far as who his starting quarterback should be.
Melchesidech Porter rushed for 150 yards and three touchdowns while Johnnie Durrossette passed for 201 yards and three touchdowns as ninth-ranked Hilldale took advantage of an undersized, young Sequoyah Claremore squad to start the season with a 59-13 win Friday night.
“What we found out was we have two guys that play pretty good,” Blevins said. “It’s hard to determine a lot. We didn’t throw any in the second half with the big lead and we limited what both quarterbacks did.”
Porter got the starting nod and guided the Hornet offense in the first quarter. Outside of a fumble on its first possession, Hilldale’s offense was unstoppable. Porter gave Hilldale a 7-0 lead on a 75-yard run on his first carry. He later would connect with Brayson Lawson on a 19-yard scoring pass and then gave Hilldale a 28-0 lead on a 15-yard run.
“He’s a strong runner, but you’d be surprised how well he can throw,” Blevins said. “He connected on short passes. By the time he got back in the lead was so big we weren’t going to let him throw.”
Porter finished the game with 150 yards rushing and completed all five pass attempts for 47 yards.
Durrossette took his turn in the second quarter. He completed five of seven passes for 201 yards as Hilldale took a 49-6 lead. Dylan Walker caught touchdown passes of 44 and 64 yards while T. J. Maxwell scored on a 42 yards strike from Durrossette.
“There’s only so much you can do when you have a big lead,” Blevins said. “We’ll know more next week against Checotah. But we found out that once we’re relaxed we have a really good team.”
While the offense was running up its number, the defense did its job forcing four turnovers and coming up with nine tackles for losses. Lawson gave Hilldale its first turnover when he picked off a pass and returned it 38 yards for a score. Rylan Nail, Watson Schiller and Michael Oeser all had fumble recoveries.
“We call ourselves the red swarm defense,” said middle linebacker Jaden McWilliams. “We want to get as many bodies to the ball as we can. Our goal is to get at least one turnover a game. I thought tonight we cut down on our mental errors from the scrimmages.”
Field position also played a key factor as Sequoyah was forced to start most possessions deep in it own territory. Peyton Bennett had four touchbacks on kickoffs and a punt that pinned Sequoyah at its own 10. Bennett also had a 33-yard field goal to go with his eight extra points.
“Field position is key,” Bennett said. “If I can get it in the end zone, it makes it easier on our defense. I was glad to get the reps tonight.”
Hilldale stayed on the ground the entire second half but still managed to amass 476 total yards. The Hornet defense held the Eagles to 224 total yards with 79 of those coming on a late drive against Hilldale reserves.
“I was proud of the fact that we came out with a lot of energy and played consistent,” Blevins said. “We also found out we had no problem getting going. Our conditioning was much better than it has been.”
HILLDALE 59, SEQUOYAH 13
Score by quarters
HIL – Melchesidech Porter 75 run (Peyton Bennett kick) 8:54
HIL – Brayson Lawson 38 interception return (Bennett kick) 6:34
HIL – Lawson 19 pass from Porter (Bennett kick) 3:12
HIL – Porter 15 run (Bennett kick) 2:31
SEQ – Logan Hattaway 43 run (kick blocked) 0:00
HIL – Dylan Walker 44 pass from Johnnie Durrossette (Bennett kick) 10:56
HIL – T. J. Maxwell 42 pass from Durrossette (Bennett kick) 7:17
HIL – Walker 64 pass from Durrossette (Bennett kick) 4:19
HIL – Porter 4 run (Bennett kick) 3:20
HIL – FG, Bennett 33 8:51
SEQ – Donovan Wilson 10 run (Tyler Kruis kick) 2:32
RUSHING – Hilldale, Melchesidech Porter 7-150 3TD; Sequoyah, Logan Hattaway 11-110 TD.
PASSING – Hilldale, Johnnie Durrossette 5-7-0 202 3TD; Sequoyah, Brett Burks 2-5-1 9.
RECEIVING – Hilldale, Dylan Walker 7-179 2TD; Sequoyah, Hunter Bolay 1-6.