Patriots make it look easy
Fri. November 04, 2011 at 11:44 p.m. | By Tony Tsoukalas
Hillcrest quarterback Luke Wingo (3) pushes through the Decatur defense during Friday’s Class 6A first-round playoff game at Hillcrest. (Photo by Michelle Lepianka Carter )
TUSCALOOSA | The Hillcrest Patriots remained undefeated as they took down Decatur 29-9 Friday night.
Hillcrest quarterback Luke Wingo started the game off right, dashing past defenders for a 47-yard touchdown run that put Hillcrest up 7-0.
“That was a good start for our team,” Wingo said. “We started off pretty slow. That play really started our momentum.”
Decatur answered in the second quarter as Bejaun Clark ran in an 11-yard touch down to tie the game at 7. The score would remain that way until right before the half, when Hillcrest kicker Melvin Gueler powered a 49-yard field goal through the uprights to give Hillcrest a 10-7 lead.
“I just took my steps and aimed for it,” Gueler said. “It sure was cold, but I had to kick it and it went in.”
The heavily favored Patriots struggled through much of the first half, not getting much done on offense.
“We knew that the first-round game was going to be the toughest game,” Hillcrest coach Adam Winegarden said. “The first half we did not play like we were capable of.”
The first play of the second half was the beginning of the end for Decatur, which saw a bad snap roll 20 yards back into its end zone for a safety that put Hillcrest up 12-7.
“We mad mistakes too many times, and you can’t do that against a good football team,” Decatur coach Jere Adcock said. “They are a very good football team, and we didn’t do what we needed to do to finish the game.”
On Decatur’s next possession, Hillcrest padded its lead as cornerback James Scott picked off a pass and brought it 47 yards to the end zone to give the Patriots a commanding 19-7 lead. Gueler tacked on his second field goal, this time from 37 yards.
An 11-yard run from Hillcrest’s Jertavious Sanders gave the Patriots a 29-7 lead before Decatur answered with a safety.
Wingo then led the Patriots down the field, picking up first downs and killing the clock to bury Decatur and cement his team’s spot in the second round.
“This win is huge,” Wingo said. “The first one is the hardest, for sure. I think we are only going to get better and better.”
Hillcrest (11-0) will face Vestavia Hills next Friday.