Lassiter 37, Hillgrove 29

When Lassiter’s Robert Dowling returned an interception 75 yards for a touchdown on the third play of the game against Hillgrove on Friday, it appeared to open the floodgates on what would be an easy victory for the Trojans.

But despite building a 37-0 halftime, the Trojans didn’t secure the victory until Willie Police converted a fourth-and-short near the Hillgrove 20-yard line with less than a minute to play as they held off Hillgrove 37-29 in the first game of the East-West Cobb Classic at McEachern.

“I was really disappointed with how we played in the second half,” Lassiter coach Jep Irwin said. “Hillgrove is a very good football team. We knew they were going to play better in the second half. We had a few things go our way, and we managed to hang on and win. I’m really proud of how we finished the game, driving it down and running the clock out. But certainly there’s a lot of lessons to be learned from this game.”

Lane Jackman and Josh Danforth had touchdown runs in the first quarter, and Eddie Printz threw touchdown passes of 38 yards to Police and 13 yards to Blake Wilson in the second. Luke Hardin kicked a 30-yard field goal with 3:55 to play in the half.

But much like last week, when Hillgrove (1-1) was shut out in the first half of its 31-15 victory at Westlake, the Hawks’ offense came to life in the second half. The Hawks got their first points when Troy Thompson threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Aaron Bailey with 7:11 to play in the third quarter. Thompson scored on a 1-yard run late in the third, then threw an 87-yard touchdown pass to Evan Engram with 4:56 to play in the game.

Hillgrove recovered the ensuing onside kick, leading to a 17-yard touchdown run by Richardre Bagley with four minutes to play.

Lassiter took possession at that point and drove down the field, running out the clock.

Printz, who has committed to UCLA, completed 19 of 25 passes for 249 yards and two touchdowns. He had 226 yards in the first half, when Lassiter (1-0) outgained the Hawks 232-38. Lassiter finished with 362 yards to Hillgrove’s 247.

The first half was halted with a little more than a minute to play in the second quarter after Hillgrove’s Devin Knight was knocked unconscious and suffered a slight neck injury on a Lassiter punt return. Knight was on the ground for several minutes before being taken off the field on a stretcher. He is expected to be OK, but he was taken to the hospital as a precaution.

Hillgrove – 0-0-14-15 – 29

Lassiter – 20-17-0-0– 37

L – Robert Dowling 75 interception return (kick failed)

L – Lane Jackman 20 run (Luke Hardin kick)

L – Josh Danforth 1 run (Hardin kick)

L – Eddie Printz 38 pass to Willie Police (Hardin kick)

L – Printz 13 pass to Blake Wilson (Hardin kick)

L – Hardin 30 field goal

H – Troy Thompson 2 pass to Aaron Bailey (Andrew Gaughn kick)

H – Thompson 1 run (Gaughn kick)

H – Thompson 87 pas to Evan Engram (Gaughn kick)

H – Richardre Bagley 17 run (Thompson pass to Zach Katz)

16 comments Add your comment

WC Rick

September 1st, 2012
1:18 am

Danforth is a beast! Crappy pla calling by lassiter in second half. Good entensity by hillgrove in second half.

Hs football fan

September 1st, 2012
2:01 am

Article fails to mention Lassiter started playing younger players on th Oline & special teams in thr second half. I think they should have continued the same play calls through the 3rd quarter & played the younger kids & run the ball to kill the clock in the fourth. They would have put up 50 & held Hilgrove to 14 or so. The score really isn’t reflective of how good this team really is. In typical Irwin fashion, we played ‘not to lose’.

Hs football fan

September 1st, 2012
2:04 am

Plus, we had the ball at Hillgrove’s 30 or so with over a minute remaining when they called the half, killing our momentum.

keepitreal

September 1st, 2012
7:38 am

Hs football fan you are correct. that was stupid to play younger players so early. i cant believe how hillgrove coach told the lassiter coach to end the half. no respect. coach erwin should do whats better for his players not the other team

Coach

September 1st, 2012
8:41 am

Excuses Excuses. No one cares about your excuses. Be happy you won. From what I saw Printz was in the game, same receivers, same backs, same line. Lassiter play a great first half and sucked the second. Hillgrove sucked the first and play a great second. Sad little man!

Mr. F

September 1st, 2012
9:02 am

@ Coach I don’t think they are trying to make excuses, just point out some interesting factors. It was however horrible play calling on Lassiter’s side to let up so easily towards the second half and Irwin even admitted that after the game durning an interview. The first half is the team Lassiter is this year. Hopefully next time they will just go for the kill instead of being push-overs. On a side and unrelated note did anyone watch the Mac-Walton game and count how many times the Commentators said Tyren Jones? It felt like it was almost every thirty seconds. Hahaha

Coach

September 1st, 2012
9:17 am

Look the game was played and if the coach made bad calls, Printz made a bad throw…. So what. If Kennesaw Mountain had of had Coach Ironside and Mosen 5 years ago they would be so bad! Come on, Its an excuse. What they are saying is Hillgrove didnt make a comeback, we just let up. Well that Lassiter caoch gets paid good money not to make those mistakes. That was one of the best come back anyone has seen in a high school football game in a long time. The only thing to be said is Lassiter won and Hillgrove lost!

80 Raider

September 1st, 2012
9:31 am

Printz is playing at the next level. His footwork, quick release, and ability to read the situation and make plays is amazing. Lassiter has done a tremendous job recruiting this year, especially with that kid transferring in from Wheeler. Danforth has to be one of the best all around athletes on the team. That kids motor kept him going the whole game on both sides of the ball. He gave up football for a year to box? That’s just too much. Looking forward to watching them both on Saturdays, and for now on Friday nights.

I was at the game

September 1st, 2012
9:32 am

I was shock they ended the game at the half when Lassiter was about the score again with 1:55 left in the first half. A Lassiter parent told me “they are doing it because the kid is hurt” my point was it doesn’t if he’s hurt, just like Lassiter scored 37 points in the first half Hillgrove is capable of scoring 37 points in the second half and they almost did. When you have your foot on the neck of your opponent you don’t let then up for any reason. Every player can get hurt on any given play and that’s not an excuse for letting the half end with a chance for putting more points on the board.

Hillgrove came back, but most of the fault for that is on the Lassiter coaches. Next time go for the KILL.

80 Raider

September 1st, 2012
9:42 am

I did see a little too much sideline horseplay going on with over 5 minutes to go. Hillgrove had just scored twice, and was taking this very seriously. It’s the assistant coaches job to marshall in anyone celebrating a win before it’s in the books. Once you turn it off for the night, it’s very hard to turn it back on, so better to think and play hard till the scoreboard says 4th 00:00

slim065

September 1st, 2012
11:28 am

No one is saying Hillgrove didn’t mount a nice comeback and they did what they had to to do it. However, outside of the one bad throw from Printz on the INT, the rest of the plays called the enitre 2nd half were probably 4 or 5 plays in the offense.

And while the D gave up 29 in the 2nd half, they were still getting pressure in the backfield, the QB was able to escape it a couple times and exploit a blown coverage on 1 play and then have a very bad tackling job on another play that led to TDs.

I think it will be good for Lassiter as the season goes on that they had this in the opener and all members of the team and staff need to stay on the pedal to the end. Printz would have had well over 300 yards if they didn’t let up and go to basically a run-first/second/third offense for basically the entire 2nd half.

I do know I would in no way want to face Hillgrove as the year progresses and especially in hte playoffs. That game against Marietta in a week or 2 is setting up to be a good one.

Coach

September 1st, 2012
11:35 am

All I can say is Printz is a beast! He looked like an NFL QB. Calm and poised in the pocket. He deserves all the Hype!

only a matter of time

September 1st, 2012
11:55 am

coach, I told you last week we are young and small. I also said Lassiter would expose those weaknesses. you told me grove was not in rebuild mode and that the middle school and jv teams have dominated and we would just show up and beat teams. now that you got and hopefully the team got their wake up call they will now work towards learning to play 4 qtrs of solid football. and also learn you don’t win games because of past success. way too many dropped passes, too many arm tackles, too many times Lassiter was getting pressure by only rushing four. hopefully these things will be addressed by the staff during this open week.

Indian Fan

September 1st, 2012
7:25 pm

Printz is a geat signal caller. He is unflappable in the pocket.
I can see Lassiter going deep in the play offs again.

I hope we don’t face Lassiter until late in the playoffs.

LTrojan Fan

September 1st, 2012
8:48 pm

@80 Raider…Danforth grew up in the Lassiter junior program. NO players were “recruited”. Just like Tyren was not recruited to Walton. His family chose to move into the Walton district and have him attend and play at Walton for his best future and success. The players that play for Lassiter ALL live in the school district and were approved transfers from the GHSA.

Benjy

September 4th, 2012
3:25 pm

Lassiter coaches are soft. They almost lost this game for the team by conservative play calling. I couldnt believe what I was watching Friday night. The camera showed the panicked Lassiter coach faces.