WENTZVILLE - The clock paused at 5:56 left in the fourth quarter of Hickman’s game on Friday.
The Timberland Wolves had just attempted a hook-and-ladder with a pass going to running back Jermaine Hill. He fumbled the ball and fell to the ground, where he lay for about 30 minutes with what was reported as a severe concussion.
The Kewpies came into the game trying to stop Hill, a speedy back who has run roughshod over opposing defenses so far this season. They were able to in their 20-9 victory over Timberland (3-1) at Scott Swofford Stadium.
“Our guy did a good job getting a hit,” Hickman coach Jason Wright said. “We definitely hope for him (Hill) to do well. He had movement in his lower extremities.”
To stop Hill and the Wolves' running game, Hickman (2-2) consistently had eight or nine players stacked in the box. Hill still ran for a touchdown and 45 yards on 18 carries.
“We were going to make them beat us with the pass,” Wright said. “We knew he (Hill) was going to get his. He’s too fast. We knew we had to pursue the ball.”
The Kewpies also had to move the ball offensively.
They were behind 3-0 after the first half and limited to 90 yards of total offense. There were multiple fumbles for negative yards that drove down that figure.
“We had a couple of bad snaps,” quarterback Matt Herman said. “Sometimes things just happen. We wanted to pound the ball in the second half. We got nasty.”
The Kewpies posted 201 yards of offense in the second half, most of which came on runs up the middle from Herman and running back Spenser Washington.
Herman ran for a 4-yard touchdown with about three minutes remaining in the third quarter, while Washington had an 8-yard run with about 28 seconds remaining in the game.
Wide receiver Wesley Leftwich, who has been Herman’s favorite target this season, had only one catch: a 19-yard touchdown pass that gave the Kewpies a 13-9 lead they wouldn’t lose with a little more than six minutes remaining in the game.
“I told my kids at halftime, ‘Don’t panic,’” Wright said. “We challenged our guys to make plays. I thought we weren’t playing fast. We challenged them and challenged their will.”
The Kewpies next play their annual Providence Bowl against Rock Bridge at Faurot Field on Thursday at 7 p.m. They are 8-4 all-time against the Bruins.