CHURCH HILL — For the second straight week, Science Hill recorded a win and a loss.
The Hilltoppers improved to 8-0 overall and 5-0 in the Big Eight Conference with a 49-7 victory at Volunteer on Friday, but did so without 295-pound senior lineman Anthony Head.
His front porch apparently gave way Thursday night, and Science Hill coach Stacy Carter said he suffered a season-ending ankle fracture that required surgery Friday night.
Head’s been a key player for two years, and his tools and experience were even more critical after fellow offensive lineman Tate Isbell was lost for the season to an ACL tear last week against Daniel Boone.
“He (Head) shattered his ankle and had to have surgery today,” Carter said. “I haven’t been able to talk to him to see how it went. … I hate it. It’s a mess. It really is.
“But the kids still played good. … We got a lot of guys that need the work.”
The Hilltoppers fared well with Zach Woods and Ben Curtis taking over on the line. Quarterback Reed Hayes rushed six times for 86 yards and two first-half TDs for Science Hill, which tallied 183 of its 288 rushing yards in the first half.
Hayes rushed for a 50-yard TD for the game’s first score with 8:03 left in the first quarter and his 13-yard score made it 28-7 with 2:55 left in the second quarter.
Hayes also threw for three TDs and 86 yards on 8-of-16 passing, and now has more than 2,000 yards of total offense this season.
He threw two TD passes two Jordan Olsen and one to Tre Webster. Each of Olsen’s came after Hayes scrambled around and drew defenders toward him to help create space for Olsen in the end zone.
“They hurt us with that little (zone) read play where he’s got it in the running back’s belly and then all of the sudden he pulls it out,” Volunteer coach Scott Rider said. “You know, when you’ve got two weapons back there — you can’t overlook the running back and we were overpursuing. He’s a quality quarterback.
“The scary thing is how good would he have been if he had played for four years. He’s got a strong arm. He throws the ball extremely well. He’s accurate with his throws.”
Will Adams rushed 11 times for 75 yards and a touchdown that gave Science Hill a 42-7 lead and triggered the continuous clock with 3:53 left in the third quarter. Chance Pierce had five carries for 65 yards for the Hilltoppers.
Olsen had three catches for 32 yards. Malik McGue had two catches for 36 yards and three carries for 22 yards.
“They get in that hurry-up and you don’t have a lot of time to make adjustments and they’ve got so many athletes on the field and so much speed,” Rider said. “I mean, you’ve gotta defend sideline to sideline, goal line to goal line.”
Hard-hitting O’Ryen Scott (forced fumble), Bryson DeJesus (16-yard sack), Grant Janeway (two tackles for loss) and Damien Hayes led a Science Hill defense that held the Falccons (2-3, 3-5) to 117 total yards. And Volunteer has a Middle Tennessee State commitment in 6-foot-4, 300-pound offensive lineman Conner Trent and nimble hoss in 6-foot-4, 320-pound Hunter Lawson, who kicks, returned a kickoff 15 yards and had seven carries for 37 yards. His 12-yard TD run got the Falcons within 14-7 with 11:38 left in the first half.
Lawson was often in the backfield with 230-pound Robert Ramsey behind Trent.
“I thought they were physical, real physical,” Carter said. “That’s a jumbo-jumbo package. That’s a lot of meat right there. … Luckily we got some scores up, where it’s hard to … do that all the time.”
Casey Price led Volunteer with 19 carries for 67 yards.
Adams had an interception for Science Hill, which jumped high for at the Science Hill 48-yard line and returned to the Volunteer 38 early in the third quarter.
Pierce had two carries for 21 yards on the ensuing drive, which Olsen capped with a 3-yard TD reception that made the score 35-7. Hayes avoided a sack and ran toward the goal line to draw attention before finding Olsen dashing right to left across the back of the end zone near the goal post.
“Hayes is a good player,” Volunteer’s Trent said. “Boy, he’s got potential to play somewhere in college. They’ve got a lot of weaons and its tough to neutrailize them all.”
Trent was also impressed with Science Hill 6-foot-6, 330-pound sophomore defensive lineman Keenan Anderson, who is expected to start on the offensive line the remainder of the season.
Addison Adams broke a lot of tackles while carrying three times in the fourth quarter for 22 yards, including an 8-yard, leg-churning TD.
Science Hill hosts Tennessee High on Friday in its final regular-season home game. Volunteer visits Dobyns-Bennett, which will host Science Hill in an anticipated matchup on Oct. 26.