SMYRNA — Hillgrove quarterback Hunter Arters threw for four touchdowns as the Hawks evened their record to 2-2 with a 42-23 win over Campbell (2-2) at McDaniel Stadium on Friday.
But the story of the game was the things that didn’t happen as the Spartans were flagged for seven penalties and each one seemed to be costly.
“My first year as a head coach, I played in a game very similar to this,” said Campbell coach Kyle Adkins. “I said a couple of things that were printed in the paper and got suspended for the next game.”
The most costly flag was thrown in the third quarter with the Hawks up 28-7. Campbell’s special teams downed a punt at the 2-yard line and two plays later, a penalty in the end zone resulted in a safety.
Hillgrove kicked the ball back and Coby Deprill rushed for 29 yards on three carries, finishing the drive with a bruising 11-yard touchdown run to close the score to 28-16.
Campbell’s defense would force a third-and-10 from the 15-yard line and seemed to force a punt after Arters threw incomplete. However a roughing the passer penalty gave the Hawks a first down. On the following play, Arters connected with senior tight end Chigoziem Okonkwo for a 38-yard pass.
“These guys wanted to call their flags,” Hillgrove coach Phillip Ironside said. “They were calling it both ways and neither one of us really got in the flow, but during a short week you expect those kinds of things.”
The Hawks defense did things to control the game, sacking Campbell quarterback Kameron Smith six times and picking off two passes, including one that was returned 80 yards by junior Lance Wise for a score.
“I thought they played really hard,” Ironside said. “We have some kids out and played some young guys. They all played tremendous and I’m very proud of them.”
Adkins was proud of Deprill, who finished with 142 yards rushing, caught two passes for 39 yards and scored three touchdowns in the loss.
“He’s an absolute ball player,” said Adkins. “I thought our kids fought their butts off and I wouldn’t trade this team for anyone. We’re getting better every week and I wouldn’t want to play us later in the year.”