HUNTSVILLE -- Connor Reece stood coolly in the pocket as the pass rush raged all around him.
Shiloh Christian's sophomore quarterback, in just his fifth varsity start, calmly stepped up and delivered a touchdown strike on fourth down and long, one of two scoring passes in the game as the Saints rolled to a 54-13 win over Huntsville in 4A-1 Conference action Friday night in Eagles Stadium.
How They Scored
Shiloh Christian 54, Huntsville 13
Shiloh — Smith 11 run (Freeman kick), 9:22.
Shiloh — Freeman 2 run (Freeman kick), 5:50.
Hunt — Weaver 67 pass from Elsey (Hernandez kick), 5:34.
Shiloh — Solomon 33 pass from Reece (Freeman kick), 4:43.
Shiloh — Freeman 1 run (Freeman kick), 11:45.
Shiloh — Carruthers 29 run (run fails), 6:16.
Shiloh — Smith 3 run (pass fails), :54.
Shiloh — Goode 25 pass from Reece (Freeman kick), :34.
Shiloh — Olsen 5 run (Freeman kick), 2:53.
Hunt — Weaver 26 run (pass fails), 1:44
Reece played just one half after Shiloh Christian (3-2, 2-0 4A-1) invoked the mercy rule just before the half when Reece fired a dart Adler Goode squeezed in the end zone to give the Saints a 47-7 lead and the points needed for the mercy rule. He finished 13-of-20 for 221 yards, and the earlier 33-yard score to Matthew Solomon on fourth down.
"I was just trying to get the ball to one of our senior receivers," Reece said. "They are all great playmakers, and coach made a great call there."
The Saints scored on all seven possessions in the first half, forced a pair of fumbles on kickoff returns and shut down Huntsville's running game. The Eagles' only score in the first half was on a flea-flicker pass from Levi Elsey to quarterback Wil Weaver for 67 yards that closed a 14-0 Shiloh Christian lead to 14-7 with 5 minutes, 34 seconds left in the first quarter.
Goode, who had two lengthy kickoff returns, returned the ensuing kickoff 56 yards to the Huntsville 38. But after reaching the Eagles' 28, the Saints were flagged for a motion penalty and Reece threw three straight incompletions, forcing Saints coach Jeff Conaway to call a time out facing fourth and 15.
"They (Huntsville) shifted and we didn't like the play we had called there," Conaway said. "We felt like that was an important possession because if they hold us there, they have a lot of momentum."
Reece ignored a heavy rush and fired a strike to Solomon over the middle and the senior receiver stepped into the end zone for a 21-7 Shiloh Christian lead.
"That was a big play at that time in the game because Huntsville had just scored," Conaway said. "Connor did a great job of standing in there and delivering an accurate pass. It was huge."
The Saints had little trouble moving the ball up and down the field. Shiloh Christian running backs Kyle Freeman (11-79), John-Marcus Carruthers (4-62) and Chandler Smith (11-52) all reached the end zone. Smith opened the scoring with an 11-yard touchdown run on Shiloh Christian's opening possession, and Freeman added two touchdown runs.
• The Saints drove just 44 and 38 yards for a pair of first half touchdowns as Goode had kickoff returns of 36 and 56 yards to set up the short field.
• Huntsville quarterback Weaver finished 4-of-9 for 116 yards, and scored both Eagles touchdowns.
• The Saints were penalized eight times in the first half, including six for illegal procedure.
Up Next: Shiloh Christian hosts Prairie Grove in a key game that could have league title implications. Huntsville travels to Gentry in search of its first conference win.
Sports on 10/04/2014
Print Headline: Saints Roll Over Huntsville