High School Sports

Hillside relies on offense to advance past Hoggard in 4A playoffs

Hillside used its high-powered offense to overwhelm visiting Hoggard and cruise to a 42-14 win Friday night to advance to the third round of the NCHSAA 4A playoffs.

Quarterback Chauncey Caldwell completed 11 of 16 passes for 263 yards, three touchdowns and one interception.

While Caldwell was taking care of Hillside’s air attack, Abdul Adams was taking care of business on the ground, rushing for 118 yards on 20 carries and two TDs.

Adams put Hillside (10-2) on the scoreboard first with a beautiful 39-yard TD run on a six-play, 62-yard drive with barely two minutes into the game.

The Hornets quickly pushed the lead to 21-0 when Caldwell found N.C. State recruit Daeshawn Stephens for a 72-yard strike, followed by cornerback Kobe Scotton’s 21-yard fumble return with 10:41 left in the first half.

After Hillside’s defense held the Vikings (8-5) to two straight punts, the Hornets began their final drive of the half at their 31. After getting pushed back to its 23 on fourth down, Hillside’s drive was kept alive by a roughing the kicker call on fourth-and-17 and later a pass interference penalty.

The Hornets made Hoggard pay on Caldwell’s second TD of the half, this one an 11-yarder to Jamal Elliott for a 28-0 halftime lead.

The Hornets specials teams got into the action in the third quarter when linebacker Jimaune Williams blocked a punt and recovered the ball at the Vikings 4. Adams took care of the rest with a 4-yard plunge for a commanding 35-0 lead.

But Hoggard didn’t give up. The Vikings used up over seven minutes in a 12-play, 78-yard drive that culminated in QB Josh Jones finding a wide open Patrick Morrison for 18 yards with 3:09 left in the third period.

Hillside scored its 42nd point on a second Caldwell-to-Stephens connection for 65 yards to make it 42-7. Stephens finished with a game-high 205 yards receiving on six catches.

Hoggard scored its final TD with 9:36 left in the game. QB Bryant Sasser hit a slanting Collin Hairr from 11 yards out.