Hillwood Woes Continue v Cheatham
By Craig Ladd
Hillwood’s struggles continued after losing at home to Cheatham County, 40-0 last Friday night.
The Hilltoppers never had an answer for the vaunted Cubs ground game nor could they consistently move the ball, offensively.
“Their offense puts a lot of strain on your defense. Cheatham County’s quarterback did a tremendous job of executing the triple option,” said Hillwood coach Kurt Page.
Cheatham County quarterback Landon Barnes orchestrated the triple-option rushing attack to perfection as Walker Bunce, Dawson Primm and Ray Ray Sweat recorded a pair of touchdowns, each. Barnes himself averaged over 10 yards per carry in rushing for 104 yards.
The Cubs controlled the defensive line of scrimmage as well limiting Hillwood to just 188 yards total offense in collecting its third shutout in six games this season.
“We had a few good plays throughout the game, however we did not have the needed consistency for success,” said Page.
The Toppers Hale Page was harassed most of the night by the Cheatham County pass rush and connected on just 10 of his 34 passes for 152 yards, while being sacked six times. On a positive note, the junior signal-caller completed passes to seven different receivers with junior wide receiver Kyle Carder enjoying the most productive night with a pair of catches for 67 yards, on grabs of 26 and 61 yards. Sophomore wideout TJ Spain and junior tight end Miller Baker also had two receptions for 34 and 31 yards, respectively. Junior running back Jordan Owens, who saw his most extensive action of the year, led the Hilltoppers in rushing with 28 yards including a long of 21.
Defensively, senior linebacker Daniel Bonner extended his double-digit tackle streak to four games as he tallied 12 total stops, including a tackle for loss. For the season Bonner has team-highs in tackles with 57 and tackles for loss with seven. Fellow linebacking mate junior Erie Lawrence enjoyed his best game of the year with eight stops and a tackle for loss. Carder and sophomore linebacker Jason Legrand were also active registering six tackles, each.
The loss drops the Toppers overall record to 1-4, but the combined record of those four losses (Columbia, Clarksville, Gallatin and Cheatham County) is 18-6. The most important half of Hillwood’s schedule lies ahead with four of the next five contests being Region 6 matchups. The first of those region matchups is Friday night at Glencliff.
“Even with our rough start, the goal of reaching the state playoffs is still attainable and it starts Friday night at Glencliff. It’s a five-game season now and we want to be 1-0 after the Glencliff game,” said Page.