And the line shall determine the outcome of the football game -- so it is written. And on Saturday afternoon in Atherton, so it was done.
Hillsdale of San Mateo paid a visit to Sacred Heart Prep in a non-league game, and proceeded to engage in a little roughhousing in the trenches, muscling its way to a 34-10 victory.
That was thanks mostly to offensive and defensive lines, which wore down the Gators in the late going and helped pile up yards on the ground.
“This one hurts, but first of all you have to give those guys (Hillsdale) credit,” SHP’s first-year head coach Mark Grieb said. “They have some good offensive linemen.”
Hillsdale (3-0) collected 244 rushing yards – 114 by halfback Nick Hulman on 14 carries. The Gators held their own for the most part in the first half, but Hillsdale struck for 14 points in the third quarter as their line established dominance.
At the beginning the Gators’ couldn't maintain a scoring drive. Their first four possessions? 1, Turnover on downs (at the Hillsdale 35); 2, Turnover on downs (at the Hillsdale 25); 3, Fumble (at the Hillsdale 16); 4, Punt (own 23).
By that time the Knights led, 13-0.
“There are no excuses,” Grieb said. “One thing we talk about a lot here is discipline, and we have a lot of things in that area that we have to fix. It’s only going to get more physical as we go on. Aragon is big, so I hear, and next week we have McClymonds, and they’re big and physical as well.”
But the Gators were not without some highlights. Wideout Jake Wheeler made a one-handed catch near the sideline for 28 yards late in the third quarter, and quarterback Brad Yaffe threw for 154 yards.
The Gators (1-2) also got a 3-yard TD run from John Denniston, capping a 45-yard drive following a punt late in the fourth quarter.
Linebacker John Willard, and defensive linemen Joey Dahlkemper and Jack Kirkham also stood out.