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Hillcrest gets off to quick start, rolls to senior-night victory

A host of Hillcrest defenders makes the tackle on Malik Montgomery of Jackson-Olin. The Patriots held Jackson-Olin to just 2 yards of total offense in the first half and 171 yards for the game. (Photo by Michelle Lepianka Carter )

TUSCALOOSA | Hillcrest High helped its registrar Gena Frith celebrate her two-year anniversary of beating breast cancer and its seniors celebrated senior night and homecoming with a 40-7 win against the Jackson-Olin on Friday night.

“It’s for all the cancer survivors and also those that weren’t as fortunate,” Hillcrest coach Scott Martin said.

Hillcrest had Jackson-Olin down 14-0 just three minutes and 46 seconds into the game and continued pouring on for the rest of the first half, ending the half with a 37-0 lead.

Charles Bester had eight carries for 107 yards and one touchdown before leaving the game with 5:21 left to go in the second quarter.

Quarterback Riley Nix played the entire first half and accounted for four touchdowns. Nix was 12 of 14 passing for 76 yards, finding Jertavious Sanders and Austin Williams for touchdowns. Nix also rushed three times for 7 yards and two touchdowns.

“It was probably one of his better executing games of the year,” Martin said. “We’re learning the things he can do. We’re still in the infancy stages of what we’re doing offensively. We’re still learning what these guys can do offensively.”

Nix was replaced by Chad Hunter Wyatt in the second half, one of many replacements who had an impact for the Patriots.

“It’s nice to be able to play a lot of people because as you go further into the season and you get nicked up and bruised up, you want guys that have experience,” Martin said. “I think everybody came out and knew what their assignments were, and I think that’s important.

When you get younger guys out on the football field, you don’t want them to lose focus.”

Torrian Riley performed well in that role, getting 15 carries for 81 yards.

“I was just trying to execute every play,” Riley said. “Do my job and let everybody do their job and execute as a team.

“When I get my time, I’m proud of it.”

Defensively, Hillcrest held the Mustangs to 2 yards of offense in the first half. Jackson-Olin had to piece together a 95-yard touchdown drive and another 33-yard drive in the fourth quarter on reserve players to end the game with 171 yards of offense.

“We were doing a lot of things right,” Martin said. “Coach (O.K.) Bryant and the defensive staff do a great job preparing every week.”

The Patriots saw Jordan Robertson and Kris Young get interceptions against the Mustangs, plus a safety from Chris Sellers and a fumble recovery from David Outlaw after a hard hit from Trey Bishop.

“We brought a lot of pressure and we mixed up the pressure so it didn’t come from the same place every time,” Martin said. “When you do that, sometimes it’s hard to block.”

Hillcrest (4-2) will host Hoover next week.