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Hilltoppers have no answer for Greeneville

Douglas Fritz • Updated Sep 8, 2018 at 12:18 AM

GREENEVILLE — Mercy.

That’s about all Science Hill could get from Greeneville on Friday night. The Greene Devils were slowed only by the mercy rule, which they forced by halftime in a 42-0 crushing of the Hilltoppers in a non-region football game at Burley Stadium.

The struggling Hilltoppers, who were without leading rusher Chris Thomas, fell to 1-3. Greeneville, the defending Class 4A state champion, improved to 4-0 with its third win over a Class 6A team. Greeneville has outscored its opponents 196-3.

“They made some big plays early,” said Science Hill head coach Stacy Carter. “They’ve got a great players, and they’ve got a great football team.”

EFFICIENCY IN MOTION

Greeneville was eerily efficient.

First drive: five plays, touchdown.

Second drive: three plays, touchdown — despite a holding penalty.

Third drive: three plays, touchdown.

Fourth drive: four plays, touchdown.

Fifth drive: five plays, touchdown.

Sixth drive: with less than a minute left before the half, Greenville moved 49 yards but missed a field goal on the last play of the half.

The efficiency has been part of the process, said Greeneville head coach Caine Ballard.

“It has worked that way this year,” he said. “These guys have played a lot of football games. We played 15 a year ago, and they’ve been together a long time. It’s a special group of guys.”

Quarterback Cade Ballard finished 14 of 16 passing for 282 yards and two touchdowns. He seemingly hit every pass on the route tree with an accuracy beyond the high school level.

“He’s very, very accurate,” said Caine Ballard. “He’s done it for so long. He has made those throws for years. Credit the offensive line tonight for getting the job done up front and setting the pocket. And of course he has tremendous receivers.”

Dorian Goddard and Cameron Hite were the main benefactors of Ballard’s passing. Goddard caught six balls for 118 yards, including the first score of the game from 57 yards out. Hite had three grabs for 84 yards, including the lone score of the second half — a 68-yard scoring play.

Ballard also rushed for 84 yards, including a 71-yard touchdown run on third and one that made it 14-0 in the first quarter.

ONE BRIGHT SPOT

Science Hill moved the ball on its first drive. The Hilltoppers ate clock, going from their own 20-yard line to a first down at the Greeneville 25. It looked like the Hilltoppers would be the first team to score a touchdown on the Greene Devils this season, but they eventually turned the ball over on downs.

“We moved the ball, but we had some penalties,” said Carter. “We kept stepping on our own toes. You can’t do that against a team like that.”

OTHER STATS

Javon Gillespie added 75 yards on five carries and two touchdowns for the Greene Devils, who rushed for 167 yards and finished with 450 total yards.

The Greene Devils’ defense held Science Hill to 170 yards, including only 74 yards on the ground on 26 attempts. Part of the reason for Science Hill’s ineffectiveness could be explained by the absence of Thomas, who missed the game to be with his family after his grandmother passed away this week.

AJ Stewart was 10 of 19 passing for 79 yards. Drew Morrison led Science Hill with 10 carries for 37 yards.

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