Troy Thompson rushed for 86 yards and two touchdowns, and Elijah Ironside ran for a touchdown and threw for another as Hillgrove earned a 34-12 victory over Kennesaw Mountain at Cobb Energy Hillgrove Stadium on Friday.
Earlier this season against Campbell and Pebblebrook, the Hawks (4-3 overall, 3-2 Region 4AAAAAA) notched back-to-back shutouts of 38-0 and 37-0, respectively.
And even though Hillgrove didn’t keep Kennesaw Mountain (1-6, 0-6) off the scoreboard Friday, the Hawks didn’t need many snaps to prove they were the better team.
After the Mustangs used up much of the clock in the second quarter to pull even at 6-6, Hillgrove took the lead for good on Thompson’s 12-yard run for a 13-6 advantage with 51 seconds remaining in the half.
The senior quarterback also highlighted the 76-yard drive with a 19-yard completion to Errol Breaux and a 41-yard sprint.
After Travon Simmons returned the second-half kickoff 55 yards to Kennesaw Mountain’s 38, Elijah Ironside raced to the end zone three plays later for a 20-6 lead with 11:32 left in the quarter.
“It was a big momentum boost scoring right there before the half then getting the ball to start the second half,” Hillgrove coach Phil Ironside said.
Hillgrove’s next two possessions ended in similar fashion to stretch the margin to 28 points entering the final period.
Thompson had a 3-yard touchdown run, and after the defense forced a turnover on downs, Elijah Ironside completed a 4-yard touchdown pass to Trevor Donald.
Eric Montgomery started the scoring for Hillgrove with a 3-yard touchdown run.
“We got good kids,” Ironside said. “Not everything goes our way all the time but they hang in there, they practice hard and work hard.”
Dallin Finley, who replaced starting quarterback Nigel Hayes in the second quarter due to injury, and Wayne Douglas had rushing touchdowns for the Mustangs, who had the ball for 18 minutes in the first half.
“I thought both of their quarterbacks played well even though the kid got hurt,” Ironside said.
Hillgrove also blocked both of Kennesaw Mountain’s extra-point attempts and had a 232-167 advantage in rushing yards.