Hawks sweat out rivalry game to beat Indians, clinch Region 4AAAAAA championship
by Adam Carrington
November 08, 2014 03:22 AM | 2516 views | 0 | 6 | |
Matt Wilson’s first taste of the Powder Springs rivalry as a starting quarterback was a good one. The junior quarterback, an understudy last year, threw for three touchdowns and ran for a fourth Friday night as the Hawks held McEachern at bay to win the Region 4AAAAAA title.
POWDER SPRINGS — With Hillgrove lined up in punt formation on the McEachern 32-yard line, with just 7 seconds left, Jeremiah Bridges took the snap and ran 68 yards the other way into his own end zone for a safety.
It wasn’t a play gone wrong. It took the final seconds off the clock and officially sealed the Hawks a 42-37 victory and Region 4AAAAAA title Friday night at home.
“Any time you beat your rival is big, and a region championship to go with it makes it even better,” Hillgrove coach Phil Ironside said. “I didn’t think we saw it coming this year after graduating 32 kids, and 14 off to college. And with the injuries that we had (this year), our kids stayed resilient and kept playing.”
With the second region title of its nine-year history, Hillgrove (7-3, 5-1) will take a No. 1 seed and home-field advantage into the playoffs. They will host Douglas County next week.
This week’s Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s Girls Athlete of the Week is Hillgrove kicker Rachel Palazzo. Until last Friday night, Palazzo was just a student trainer for the football team, as she had been for the past three and a half years. During this time, the senior had already built relationships with the coaches and players. Due to her powerful striking ability from being apart of the Hawks’ girls soccer team throughout high school, kicking field goals through the crossbar looked as though it would be an easy transition for Palazzo.
Throughout the week leading up to the game against Kennesaw Mountain, head football coach Phil Ironside told Palazzo at practice she would likely get her chance to kick in the second quarter after he had seen her belt field goals from the 20-yard line and the 25-yard line during practice. That promise came to fruition after quarterback Matt Wilson’s 16-yard touchdown pass to Richard Hallman early in the second quarter. With the support of her team rallying behind her and the encouragement of the crowds in the stands, the extra point went through and Palazzo became the first female in Hillgrove history to score points for the football team. It is still unknown whether or not Palazzo is the first female football player in all of Cobb County to score points.
She ended up kicking six more extra points during the game, finishing the night a perfect 7-for-7. With the senior kicker’s help, the Hawks dominated the Mustangs 52-20, and Palazzo will likely see the 20-yard line again this season.
October 14, 2014 05:41 AM | 1477 views | 0 | 5 | |
10-13-14 --AOW 01-- Hillgrove High School's Sonny Harris. Staff/Kelly J. Huff
Hillgrove senior running back Sonny Harris took over the offense Friday night in helping Hillgrove get separation from other Region 4AAAAAA opponents.
He rushed for 314 yards on 28 carries in the Hawks’ 72-46 win over North Paulding and is tied for second in the state with eight touchdowns in a single game. His longest score came on 84 and also had touchdowns of 21 and 12 yards out.