Malik McGue said he sputtered last week at Volunteer in his return from an ankle injury, but there was no water in his fuel Friday.
McGue rushed for two touchdowns and passed for two others while helping the Hilltoppers eliminate Daniel Boone from playoff contention with a 49-20 victory at Tipton Stadium.
Science Hill (5-0, 7-2) will visit Dobyns-Bennett (5-0, 7-2) on Friday with a Big Seven Conference title at stake.
McGue, playing his second full game since injuring an ankle in the first quarter of a loss to Brentwood Academy on Sept. 27, was 13-of-19 passing for 219 yards. The elusive 5-foot-7, 160-pounder also rushed 12 times for 88 yards.
He scored from four yards out to give Science Hill a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter, and his 3-yard TD made it 35-7 with 32 seconds left in the first half.
McGue connected with Marcus Patton six times for 118 yards and two TDs.
Patton’s second TD reception was a 42-yarder with 7:05 left in the third quarter, triggering a continuous clock that ticked for the game’s remainder.
“I thought Malik played tremendous,” Science Hill coach Stacy Carter said. “He made some tremendous checks. It’s good to have him healthy. Malik made some real good plays with his decisions as much as he did with his legs and arm tonight.”
Science Hill prepared to attack Boone with four wide receivers this week.
“We game-planned all week to spread them out and we came out and executed,” McGue said. “Our receivers ran good routes. … Marcus has fought through injuries, too. In the offseason he tore his labrum. He’s coming on really well of late with all the injuries.”
Mikey White scored a 13-yard TD on a jet sweep to give Science Hill a 28-0 lead with 1:48 left in the first half. He also had two catches for 55 yards, including a 46-yarder on a third-and-25 from the Science Hill 18-yard line late in the first quarter.
“That was just, basically, a Hail Mary,” McGue said. “If I didn’t see anything open, it was scramble and get as much as I can. And at first I didn’t see anything and I scrambled, and Mikey came open across the middle and made a great catch going up and getting it. I always trust him with his size and everything.”
Science Hill rushed 41 times for 226 yards.
“We couldn’t get off the field on third down,” Boone coach Jeremy Jenkins said, “and that’s been our Achilles heel the last two weeks.”
Backup quarterback Justin Bedard had seven carries for 53 yards and a touchdown for the ‘Toppers.
“We had some people make some big plays,” Carter said. “Mikey White being back really helped out, and it helped having Gad Nagba back on defense.
I feel like the team played well overall.”
Addison Adams got the Hilltoppers on the board with a 4-yard TD with 7:53 left in the first quarter.
Boone’s Ryan Keever caught two TD passes from fellow sophomore Caleb Sanders. The first one was a 60-yarder with 1:40 left in the first half. Sanders hit Keever for a 36-yard score with 8:06 left in the game after Bedard had given Science Hill a 49-7 lead.
Boone’s final TD came on Tom Ketron’s 53-yard run with 22 seconds remaining.
The Trailblazers (2-3, 3-6) conclude their season by hosting David Crockett (2-3, 5-4) in the Musket Bowl on Friday.
Carter said Science Hill safety Malik Stephens (shoulder) had season-ending surgery on Friday. Receiver Elijah Mathes missed Friday’s game, but is expected to return against D-B, which hasn’t lost to Science Hill since 1994.