After a scoreless first quarter, Hillgrove scored two touchdowns in the second quarter and three more in the third to take a 35-0 lead and put the game away. South Cobb put together a couple of touchdowns late in the fourth quarter to close the gap at the end.
“We played well all night,” Hillgrove coach Phil Ironside said. “We got rolling, got some scores and a lot of kids played well.”
South Cobb was missing one of Cobb County’s leading passers in quarterback Stephon Masha, who was out with a hip pointer, and the Eagles were unable to generate much offense through most of the game.
The win put Hillgrove
(6-3, 5-2) in a three-way tie for second place with North Cobb and Marietta heading into its regular-season finale at home against McEachern.
Meanwhile South Cobb (6-3, 4-3), which finishes the regular season next Saturday at Pebblebrook, is in fifth place in 4AAAAAA, and will need to win and get help next week to make the postseason.
Troy Thompson completed 13 of 17 passes for 133 yards and two touchdowns to lead the way for Hillgrove.
Hillgrove got its first big break of the game when it recovered a fumble by South Cobb’s Chauncey Ingram at the Eagle 22-yard line with 3:46 remaining in the first half.
It took only two plays for Hillgrove to get in the end zone as Elijah Ironside threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Justin Denton and Andrew Gaughn kicked the extra point with 3:16 left in the half to give the Hawks a 7-0 lead.
South Cobb turned the ball over again on its next possession as sophomore quarterback Malik Carter, who was starting in place of the injured Masha, was intercepted by Hillgrove’s DyKari Hickey and the Hawks took over at the Eagle 44 with 1:45 left in the first half.
Hillgrove needed only four plays to score as Thompson fired a 17-yard scoring strike to Marcus Bowens with 42 seconds left and led 13-0 after missing the extra-point kick
Hillgrove forced another turnover early in the third quarter when Carter was sacked at the Eagles 19 by Cameron Kowalewski, who grabbed the ball out of the Eagle quarterback’s hands to give the Hawks possession with 10:56 remaining in the period.
Six plays later, Hillgrove was in the end zone again as Richarde Bagley scored on a 1-yard run and then threw a pass to Evan Engram for the 2-point conversion to stretch the Hawks’ advantage
to 21-0 with 8:06 left in the third quarter.
Hillgrove took possession after Carter was sacked for a 7-yard loss on fourth down and 16 at the Hawk 45 with 3:59 left in the third quarter.
Thompson hit paydirt as he threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to Engram with 3:17 left, then Gaughn added the extra point to put Hillgrove ahead 28-0.
The defense provided Hillgrove its final touchdown as Aaron Bailey knocked down a pitchout by Carter, picked up the ball and ran it back 40 yards for a score with 1:47 left. Gaughn’s extra point made it 35-0.
The Hawks added a safety with 7:07 remaining in the game to push their lead to 37-0.
South Cobb would cut Hillgrove’s final margin of victory at the end as Chris Simon intercepted a Thompson pass and ran it back 75 yards for a score with 2:13 left and Ingram scored on an 11-yard run with 12 seconds left.