Hillside scored on each of their four possessions in the first half for a 24-0 lead and the defense was very stubborn in a 31-0 victory over Carteret.
First Quarter: Carteret opened the game with a first down on two Jakir Thomas runs, but had to punt. Hillside began on their 39 and moved down the field behind the running of Kyon Simonson and Muwaffaq Parkman, capping it off with a 7-yard touchdown from Parkman. Carteret’s next possession was turned over on downs when a fourth-and-5 run from Thomas on their 40 was stopped for no gain on the first play of the second quarter.
Second Quarter: Hillside made it look easy on the following drive. Their first play was a touchdown called back for a penalty and the second play was a 37-yard touchdown pass from Caleb Salters to Marcus White over the middle with White running all alone for the last 20 yards. Hillside forced a Carteret three-and-out and moved the ball behind the running of Simonson. The Comets got closer when White made a fabulous over-the-shoulder catch on the 1-yard line, falling out of bounds. Simonson scored through the middle on the following play to make it 21-0 with a little under five minutes left. The Comets took over on their 26 with 50 seconds left and got to midfield on a pass interference call, followed by a 29-yard pass to Talibi Kaba. After an incomplete pass, there were only four seconds left and Giovanni Lavoura kicked a 39-yard field goal.
Third Quarter: Hillside was not as sharp as they were in the first half, but got untracked on their third drive. They started on the Carteret 35, followed with a couple of Simonson runs and completion to White that brought the Comets to the 13. Two plays later, Jayden Stokes scored on a 7-yard run through the middle.
Fourth Quarter: Much of the quarter was a drive by Carteret that was halted by a McNaully Erminal interception and Hillside ran out the clock.
Comments: Hillside had eight drives in the game with only one in the first quarter and the last one was with the backups. Their first three drives ended with touchdowns and the fourth was a field goal as time expired in the first half. They didn’t seem to have the same fire in the second half, but they scored on the third drive. Their defense set them up well and they didn’t need to go on long drives. Simonson rushed for 85 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries, while Parkman had 39 and a touchdown on 8 carries. The Comet defense held Carteret to 103 yards of total offense, with one play gaining yardage in double figures: a 34-yard pass play. Subtract that and they gained 69 yards.
When asked for comment, Hillside coach Barris Grant said their goals for the game were a strong running game, good defense, and a home field advantage in the playoffs.
Carteret was outmatched today, especially up front. There are some good players for the Ramblers and they are very young, as they had only one senior starting on offense and two on defense. Thomas has had a good year running the ball and middle linebacker Hezekiah Ragland had a good game. They have had success this year and have the potential for more success in the future.