Webster Schroeder’s Noah Siesto lays a hit on Hilton’s Taryn Lopez during the Cadets’ come-from-behind 49-42 Monroe County football win over the Warriors on Friday, Oct. 17, 2014.
Hilton needed to win in order to advance to the playoffs, but five minutes into the game Friday, the Cadets were going nowhere, instead of toward the Section V Class AA Tournament.
Webster Schroeder quarterback Brett Segala and Will Blake already delivered two pass plays for touchdowns, to put Hilton in a 14-point hole.
The Cadets came back however, and chased down a position in the playoffs when they stopped Webster Schroeder, 49-42 to win the team’s first game on its new turf field.
“My senior year, and this is probably the biggest game of my life,” Hilton receiver Reide Metzger said. “I’m so happy we’re going to sectionals.”
It did not always appear that was going to happen, but Hilton’s offense got up and running after a slow start.
Sophomore quarterback Johnathan Letta, in his first start for Hilton, ran for 143 yards on 23 carries. Letta completed seven of nine throws for 167 yards, including key passes to junior Justin Resseguie and Metzger.
The Hilton pass defense was a work-in-progress most of the night, but made two game-changing plays in a span of two game minutes during the fourth quarter.
Not long after Hilton evened the score at 35, Resseguie stepped in front a pass by Segala and returned the interception 51 yards. That turnover set up a two-yard touchdown run by Dillon Philmon, back in action with a high-ankle sprain, with 7:05 remaining.
When Webster Schroeder went to answer that score in its next series, Metzger put his hands up and intercepted a short pass inside Warriors’ territory. Hilton’s lead went to 14 points after an 8-yard touchdown run by Philmon with 3:17 remaining.
Segala scrambled the Warriors to another score, his fourth touchdown pass of the game, but the Cadets ran out the clock after recovering an onside kick.
“We didn’t really figure it out,” HIlton coach Rich Lipani said. “The quarterback is outstanding, the receivers are good, but we made two huge plays and were able to cash in.”
Segala, a six-foot tall senior listed at 175 pounds, finished with 335 yards passing. Blake caught eight of those throws for 104 yards, while teammate Brandon Gartland grabbed nine for 130 yards.
“They weathered the storm,” Webster Schroeder coach Kali Watkins said. “They controlled the ball, they kept it out of our hands.”
The Cadets began to do just that but not until after they were stopped on downs at their own 36 during the game’s opening drive and fell into a 14-point hole after four offensive plays by Webster Schroeder.
Hilton’s offense then came alive. The Cadets stayed with the run throughout a 15-play drive they finished with 22 seconds to play in the first quarter on a two-yard run by Philmon.
The Cadets were even after they forced a punt and Philmon scored on 4th-and-goal inside the Webster Schroeder 1 in team’s next offensive series.
Webster Schreoder seemed headed for a halftime with a 21-14 lead, but Hilton beat the clock with an 11-yard touchdown pass to Resseguie with 22 seconds to play in the half. The Cadets continued to answer each Webster Schroeder touchdown in the second half until they were able to take the lead and a spo in the playoffs.