Will Adams and his brother Jahmar scored two touchdowns apiece in the first quarter to help Science Hill to a 41-3 halftime lead, and the Hilltoppers emptied the bench in the second half en route to 48-17 homecoming victory against Sullivan Central Friday at Kermit Tipton Stadium.
Will Adams only touched the ball three times. His first TD was a 13-yard run that helped give the Hilltoppers a 14-0 lead with 6:10 left in the quarter. His 54-yard TD catch from Justin Snyder made it 28-0 with 1:16 left in the quarter. Snyder had already thrown a 10-yard TD pass to Jahmar, who also rushed for a 2-yard score.
Jahmar is a senior and Will’s a junior. Their younger brother Aaron, a sophomore, was also on the field a lot.
“I’m just blessed to have my brothers play on the team with me,” Will said.
Many of the Hilltoppers reserves played the majority of the game. Freshman quarterback Malik McGue, who was thrust into the backup role with Luke Hampton sidelined for the season last week with a knee injury, entered the game late in the second quarter and had an encouraging debut.
McGue threw a 15-yard TD pass to O’Ryen Scott to make the score 41-3 with 1:32 left in the second quarter. Scott was wide open in the end zone, but McGue had to make an athletic move to sidestep a sack on a bootleg in order to make the throw.
McGue finished 4-of-7 passing for 76 yards and also threw a 37-yard TD pass to tight end Will Craig to conclude Science Hill’s scoring with 41 seconds left in the third quarter. Craig cane down with the ball in a crowd around the 15-yard line.
“Malik’s just a freshman,” Carter said. “We’re gonna see a lot of great things out of him. This was the first time, really, he was under bright lights like that. He didn’t do everything great, but he threw a couple of touchdown passes. ? He’s an athlete.”
McGue also made many would-be tacklers whiff while rushing for 30 yards on six carries.
“That was great,” Will Adams said. “He deserves that. He works hard in practice; he really does. It’s just nice to see a young kid like playing like that ? and step up and do some big things.”
Science Hill did turn the ball over four times in the second half on fumbles and a muffed punt.
Mitchell Carter returned one of the fumbles 26 yards for a TD that made the score 41-10 with 3:08 left in the third quarter.
The Cougars’ first score was a 34-yard field goal by Jordan Edwards with 5:20 left in the first half. Their final TD was a 78-yard pass from Charlton Buckner to Logan Fox with 10:15 remaining.
“Everything was good other than a couple of turnovers and it got ugly there,” Carter said. “But the kids got to play. I was glad that our ones (starters) came out and took care of business early.”
In less than two quarters of action, Snyder finished 7-of-9 passing for 156 yards and two TDs. He threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to wide open tight end Hank Overbay on a 3rd-and-12 call that gave the Hilltoppers a 35-0 lead with 10:03 left in the first half.
“I knew (it would work) before the play even happened,” Overbay said. “There was no one out there.”
Sophomore Chance Pierce rushed eight times for 73 yards for Science Hill. Aaron Greene had a 34-yard catch and Josh Stroud had several tackles behind the line of scrimmage for the ‘Toppers.
Science Hill took a knee at the Sullivan Central 34-yard line on the final play of the first half. On the ensuing play - the opening play of the second half - Central attempted an on-sides kick. The Cougars didn’t recover it, but did recover the next one later in the third quarter.
Buckner was 10-of-19 for 155 yards for Central.
The Hilltoppers visit Morristown West on Friday.
Science Hill soccer player Taylor Newsome was crowned homecoming queen.