By Matt Turer — @MattTurer
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Hillcrest’s regular season is still two weeks from over, though the Hornets already found reason to celebrate after monster efforts by Haden Parton, Josh Powell and Dion Davis.
Parton tossed four touchdowns, Powell caught six passes for 136 yards and Davis rushed for a career-high 203 yards on 16 carries as the Hornets clinched the unofficial Springfield city championship in a 48-14 win over Hillcrest on Friday night.
With the entire team chanting “City champs! City champs!” after the win at JFK Stadium, Davis called the celebration “a city thing,” saying, “All my coaches, this means a lot to them. So us sweeping the city felt really good for us.”
Davis ran for scores of four yards in the first quarter and 78 yards in the fourth quarter, and caught a touchdown pass for 20 yards in the second quarter in a breakout effort for the sophomore.
“I’ve told a few people that when he figures it out, he’s going to be pretty good. And he’s starting to figure it out,” Hillcrest coach John Beckham said. “I think in the last few weeks he’s realizing that he belongs out here.”
The Hornets (4-3) ran for 302 yards on 27 carries and averaged 11.2 yards per carry, finishing with 518 total yards against a Vikings defense that allowed over 850 yards in a 69-58 loss to Glendale last Friday.
“Our plan was just to run the ball,” Beckham said. “Parkview has been very effective on offense, and we didn’t want to get into a situation where we were trading touchdowns. I wanted us to control the clock, maybe get a few stops and get a lead. It worked out well.”
Hillcrest had its way with Parkview through the air as well. Parton completed 12 of 17 passes for 216 yards and four touchdowns, including scoring strikes of 26, 37 and 38 yards to Powell. Powell also had five carries for 44 yards and Davis two catches for 30 yards with a 20-yard touchdown catch that put Hillcrest up for good at 14-7 with 6:50 to play in the first half.
Hillcrest’s defense also came up big, limiting a Parkview offense averaging over 500 yards and 37 points per game to 381 yards.
“I thought we tackled well,” Beckham said. “I say all the time if we don’t turn the ball over and if we tackle on defense, we have a chance to win.”
Trevor Boice was 18 for 30 for 154 yards, including a five-yard touchdown to Tyrone Newburn that put Parkview up 7-6 early in the first quarter. Powell picked off Boice in the fourth quarter for one of two Hillcrest turnovers. The Hornets also dropped a pair of interceptions that may have been returned for touchdowns.
“Our scout team did a good job in practice and our defense did a good job preparing,” Powell said. “We’ve been playing that [offense] all week and we got it tonight.”
Parkview (1-6) was held scoreless for over three quarters of playing time before Blake Delacruz scored from three yards out with 2:25 to play. Delacruz carried the ball 36 times for 188 yards but was limited to 55 yards on 13 carries in the first half.
“One thing we have going for us is we run the ball pretty well, but they did a good job of taking that away pretty early,” Parkview coach Paul Hansen said. “We just didn’t make enough plays in the passing game, and they did a great job. They’re a good team.”
PICKING THEIR POISON
The Hornets made Parkview one-dimensional in each half. Boice threw for 120 yards and a touchdown in the first half but was limited to 34 yards on 13 attempts in the second half. Josh Powell’s switch to corner was a big reason why, according to Hansen. Delacruz finished the second half with over 130 rushing yards but didn’t get much going in the first half with Hillcrest keying on him.
Hillcrest: The Hornets found success attacking Parkview across the middle in the passing game. All three Powell touchdown catches came off slant plays caught no more than 5-15 yards beyond the line of scrimmage. The Hornets had five touchdown drives of at least 70 yards.
Parkview: Delacruz surpassed the 1,500-yard rushing mark for the season.
UP NEXT AND BEYOND
Parkview: The Vikings head to West Plains next Friday. The Zizzers are in the thick of the Ozark Conference race and are coming off a 41-21 win at Kickapoo.
“We just need to clean a lot of things up and make sure we’re healthy going into districts. We’re scheduled to play Republic in Week 10, and anything can happen in those district games,” Hansen said.
Hillcrest: The Hornets can move to two games over .500 for the first time since 2013 by beating Rolla at home next Friday.
“I’m not a mathematician, but I don’t think it matters if we win the rest of our games or lose them, we’re still going to have the same seed in districts,” Beckham said. “We’re in a really difficult district, but you still want to win and go into districts with momentum.”
Hillcrest 6-14-14-14 — 48
Parkview 7-0-0-7 — 14
HILLCREST TD — 9:52 — Dion Davis 4 Yd Run (2 Pt Fail) — Hillcrest 6, Parkview 0 (5 plays, 71 yards, 0:41)
PARKVIEW TD — 8:35 — Tyrone Newburn 5 Yd pass from Trevor Boice (Kick Good) — Parkview 7, Hillcrest 6 (6 plays, 59 yards, 1:16)
HILLCREST TD — 6:50 — Dion Davis 20 Yd pass from Haden Parton (2 Pt Good) — Hillcrest 14, Parkview 7 (9 plays, 77 yards, 4:12)
HILLCREST TD — 1:53 — Josh Powell 26 Yd pass from Haden Parton (2 Pt Fail) — Hillcrest 20, Parkview 7 (6 plays, 76 yards, 2:34)
HILLCREST TD — 7:24 — Josh Powell 37 Yd pass from Haden Parton (2 Pt Good) — Hillcrest 28, Parkview 7 (4 plays, 67 yards, 2:52)
HILLCREST TD — 3:46 — Malik Starks 36 Yd Run (2 Pt Fail) — Hillcrest 34, Parkview 7 (4 plays, 51 yards, 0:57)
HILLCREST TD — 11:47 — Dion Davis 78 Yd Run (2 Pt Fail) — Hillcrest 40, Parkview 7 (2 plays, 80 yards, 1:00)
HILLCREST TD — 7:34 — Josh Powell 38 Yd pass from Haden Parton (2 Pt Good) — Hillcrest 48, Parkview 7 (6 plays, 80 yards, 3:20)
PARKVIEW TD — 2:25 — Blake Delacruz 3 Yd Run (Kick Good) — Hillcrest 48, Parkview 14 (7 plays, 52 yards, 3:46)