The Party on Patriot Parkway Continues; Hillcrest Wins 48-26
The party on patriot parkway continued Friday night, as the Hillcrest Patriots put on a dominating performance, defeating area and cross-town rival, Paul W. Bryant, 48-26.
Hillcrest, led by junior quarterback Ethan Crawford, earn their sixth win of the season and improve to 6-2 (4-1). From the start of the game, Hillcrest's ground attack was too much for Bryant, as the Patriots quickly jumped out to a 14-6 lead behind two first quarter rushing touchdowns from Crawford.
After the quick lead, senior defensive back, Luke Williams, blew the game wide open, returning a Bryant punt, deep from their own endzone, 45 yards for a score and further widening the gap to 21-6.
From that point, the Patriots focused on their run game, pounding the ball down the field for two more touchdowns from running backs Jamarion Johnson and Decorrin Thomas to close out the first half.
Hillcrest opened the third quarter on offense and continued relying heavily on the run game, taking the ball 70 yards down field and punching it in on another Ethan Crawford rushing touchdown, making the score 41-6.
Despite facing a massive deficit, the Stampede found some rhythm on offense in the second half with their own run game. Sophomore running back, Jordan Louie, exploded in the third quarter, breaking off long touchdown runs on back to back drives, and closing the gap to 15 entering the fourth quarter.
"We put a bunch of our twos in there and I'm just super frustrated with our second group. We take a lot of pride in having guys ready to play and the guys that got in tonight just didn't perform and forced us to put out ones back in," Hillcrest head coach Jamie Mitchell said, speaking on the Bryant second half surge, "But it's a region win and I don't know that we could have played a better first half."
Bryant head coach, Eldrick Hill, spoke on the second half outburst for his team as well, saying, "We made a few adjustments and they played very well. Jordan Louie was a bright spot for us and sparked the offense a little bit, so we're proud of him."
The Hillcrest Patriots, now 6-2 (4-1) on the year, take on Bessemer City (0-7, 0-4) next week in another 6A region four matchup that could solidify the Patriots' second place finish in the region. Paul W. Bryant faces off against the region champion Hueytown Golden Gophers (7-1, 5-0) next week as the Stampede look to try and bounce back after a tough loss.