Hillgrove moved to a perfect 10-0 on the year, heading into a first round of the Class AAAAA state playoffs next week against Beach (5-5) out of Savannah.
“I thought the kids did well,” Hawks coach Phillip Ironside said. “Campbell did a good job. They played ball control, they ate clock the first half and only gave us four possessions. I thought we were doing okay, executing okay, but then we caught a little fire there in the third quarter and pulled away. It was a good gameplan by them.”
The loss dropped Campbell to 1-9 and concluded the 2011 season, but head coach Harris Rainbow said the Spartans put up a quality game Friday.
“It wasn’t a tough night for our guys,” he said. “Our kids played well. I am proud of our seniors. We have got a great bunch. Twelve-nothing at halftime, I think, might be better than any team other than McEachern against Hillgrove. We are pretty pleased with our kids’ effort. We have come a long way.”
Drake averaged 14.7 yards a carry, torching the Campbell defense in the second half, but the contest looked close early.
Campbell opened by driving to the Hillgrove 44 before failing to convert on a fourth down try. The Hawks took eight plays to march 50 yards, with quarterback Elijah Ironside hitting Osy Egbuziem for a three-yard score. The extra point failed and Hillgrove remained up 6-0.
After forcing a Campbell punt, Ironside found Drake on a 19-yard screen pass to spark a nine-play drive. The quarterback then scrambled for a 17-yard score to go up 12-0 after another missed extra point.
Despite holding the ball for more than 15 minutes, Campbell came up with 30 yards of offense in the first half, advancing past the 50 on one drive.
Jojo Marshall sparked the Hawks with a 76-yard kick return to set Hillgrove up at the Spartan 17 early in the third. Ironside found Evan Engram for a 17-yard toss to make it 19-0.
After another failed fourth-down conversion gave Hillgrove the ball deep in Campbell territory, Ironside hit Engram again, this time for six yards and a 26-0 lead.
Late in the third, Troy Thompson took the reins of an eight-play, 63-yard Hillgrove drive, hitting Paul Haley for a 14-yard toss to make it 33-0. A 31-yard scamper from Drake aided the march after seemingly being caught in a pile-up before breaking loose.
The Spartans caught a spark on the next possession, moving 79 yards in six plays. Quarterback Ricky James hit Josh Miller on a 37-yard pass play, then found Darius Harris on a 15-yard screen and Miller again on a 23-yard gain. James then hit Greg Tull for a nine-yard score to get on the board.