Hillgrove looks for 2-0 start on the road at Shiloh
by MDJ staff reports
August 28, 2014 06:57 PM | 1317 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Hillgrove’s Sonny Harris rushed for 180 yards last week against Lassiter. He’ll try to have another big game tonight when the Hawks take on Shiloh.
Hillgrove’s Sonny Harris rushed for 180 yards last week against Lassiter. He’ll try to have another big game tonight when the Hawks take on Shiloh.
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Game: Hillgrove (1-0) at Shiloh (0-0), 7:30 p.m.

Last year: First meeting

All-time series: First meeting

Prediction: Hillgrove 42, Shiloh 21

Hillgrove graduated several outstanding seniors last year, including offensive players Elijah Ironside at quarterback, starting running back Richardre Bagley and wide receivers Omar Black, Justin Denton and Emanuel Beal.

With so many quality losses, logically, there would be question marks surrounding the Hawks’ offense entering last week’s season opener against Lassiter. But those questions were quickly answered when Hillgrove scored 33 straight points against the Trojans, en route to a 47-35 victory.

Even coach Phil Ironside was surprised by his team’s offensive output, given the Hawks were breaking in so many new starters.

“Yeah, I was surprised to see 47 points,” he said. “I knew (running backs Sonny Harris and Eric Montgomery) could run well, but they showed some really good effort Friday.

“Lassiter’s pressure (in a 37-29 loss in 2012) was a problem for us when we played them before, but our kids handled it well this time. To score on five straight possessions is a tough thing to do against a really good team like Lassiter.”

Expect the Hawks to keep their momentum going today against Shiloh. The Generals haven’t had a winning record since 2003, when the team finished 6-5. They finished 5-5 a season ago and struggled against Region 8AAAAAA competition, posting a 3-5 mark.

Today’s contest marks Shiloh’s season opener, so there’s a good chance the Generals’ coaching staff scouted Hillgrove’s matchup against Lassiter. Ironside, though, is glad his team isn’t heading into tonight’s contest cold.

“I think it’s always nice to have a game under your belt,” he said. “I’d rather be that guy. The new kids are more comfortable and have their feet on the ground and stuff like that. They’re in better shape and all of that.

“For Shiloh, I bet they’d like nothing more than to beat us and get their season started on a good note.”

— By Carlton D. White

cwhite@mdjonline.com

Game: Lakeside-DeKalb (0-0) at Osborne (0-1), 7:30 p.m.

Last year: First meeting

All-time series: First meeting

Prediction: Lakeside-DeKalb 24, Osborne 10

First-year coach Byron McCall will officially make his debut tonight in Osborne’s home opener.

McCall was out of town on a family emergency last week when the Cardinals dropped their season opener 20-7 at Dutchtown. All things considered, with Osborne starting from scratch in rebuilding its fledgling program, the final score could have been worse.

After its defense had issues in its scrimmage against South Cobb a couple of weeks ago, the Cardinals played better assignment football against Dutchtown and gave their offense a chance at a second half rally after being limited to minus-4 yards in the first half.

Even though Osborne moved the ball more effectively in the second half with its wishbone offense, the Cardinals had plenty to address this week to get ready for Lakeside-DeKalb.

“I want to bring optimism to the players,” McCall said. “I want these players to believe. If we can get them to believe, we can get them to achieve. But they are still learning right now. This has been a new season and there’s a whole lot of football that needs to be played.”

There were breakdowns on the offensive line against Dutchtown, and McCall is still looking for the right combination. Coaches may shift players around at different positions to see which combination plays better.

Osborne managed to have more success in the second half but not because of any major adjustment. The Cardinals happened to make a few big plays to keep drives alive. Ayo Ashi hit Adrian Alston-Thompson for a 37-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter to bring the Cardinals within a touchdown.

But a stronger offensive line could help Osborne play better in all four quarters.

“We have to execute on the offensive line,” McCall said. “We have to establish team consistency. We need everyone to know their job and responsibility and to get it done.

“We had a chance to watch Lakeside and it looks like they are jelling.”

— By Adam Carrington

acarrington@mdjonline.com

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