For sixth-ranked Hillgrove, the loss ended a 23-game winning streak in regular-season games. Hillgrove is the two-time defending region champion, and the two teams have combined to win nine of the past 10 titles in their region. The Powder Springs rivals, located about three miles apart, are 5-5 all-time against each other.
“This series, we’ve had all kinds of spectacular things,” Ironside said. “That’s a tough way to win or lose. It’s awesome for them, but somebody’s always on the other side of that.”
Second-ranked McEachern (6-0, 1-0) managed just 57 yards of total offense in the first half and trailed 14-6 at the break, but quarterback Carlos Del Rio-Wilson took matters into his own hands in the second half. The junior, who has committed to Florida, had one yard rushing on three carries in the first half but ran for 114 yards on 19 carries in the second.
-- Photos: Friday's football action
Del Rio-Wilson picked up 60 yards on six carries in the Indians’ first second-half drive, which ended with an 8-yard touchdown run by Jordan Simmons that cut the lead to 14-13. He also threw a 29-yard touchdown pass on the second play of the fourth quarter to put the Indians ahead 19-14. He was 13-for-20 passing for 132 yards for the game.
“Carlos is a 200-something-pound back,” Stephens said. “That’s one of the things I said this summer about him is that a lot of people don’t know what he can do because all he’s done for the past two years is throw the ball around. I learned early coming in this spring that he’s more than capable of being a running back.”
McCravy helped Hillgrove build a 14-3 lead in the first half with two touchdown passes, a 7-yarder to Jalen Royals and a 14-yarder to Trevarus Walker. McCravy was 16-of-32 for 163 yards.
McEachern had no first downs and minus-2 total yards until its final possession of the first half, when the Indians drove from their 22 to the Hillgrove 14 and settled for Denzell Moore’s 31-yard field goal on the final play of the half that cut the lead to 14-6.
The Indians’ other first-half points, a 22-yard field goal by Moore with 3:37 to play in the second quarter, came after McEachern recovered a fumble at the Hillgrove 13.
-- More: Friday's football scores
Hillgrove - 0-14-0-0 - 14
McEachern - 0-6-7-6 - 19
H - Jalen Royals 7 pass from Matthew McCravy (Jonathan Grote kick), 11:49
M - Denzell Moore 22 field goal, 3:34
H - Trevarus Walker 14 pass from McCravy (Grote kick), 1:58
M - Moore 31 field goal, 0:00
M - Jordon Simmons 8 run (Moore kick), 7:23
M - Javon Baker 29 pass from Carlos Del Rio-Wilson (pass failed), 11:25
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