SPRINGDALE -- Connor Reece fired four touchdown passes to Tyler Roth to lead Shiloh Christian to a 45-7 win against Huntsville in Champions Stadium on Friday.
Reece and Roth, both juniors, connected on scoring strikes of 53, 23, 64 and 16 yards as the Saints rolled to a mercy-rule win on homecoming night.
Shiloh — Roth 53 pass from Reece (Boo kick), 7:02.
Shiloh — Roth 23 pass from Reece (Boo kick), 1:28.
Shiloh — Carruthers 2 run (Boo kick), :29.7
Hunt — Weaver 1 run (Vanover kick), 4:47.
Shiloh — Roth 64 pass from Reece (Boo kick), 4:33.
Shiloh — Roth 16 pass from Reece (Boo kick), 2:41.
Shiloh — Berus 28 run (Boo kick), 2:25.
Shiloh — FG Boo 31, 2:44.
The celebration for Shiloh Christian was offset by a late game injury to junior linebacker Broc Berus, who went down with a serious injury with under two minutes left in the game. Berus was taken to a local hospital. The status of his injury was unknown following the game.
Shiloh Christian (3-1, 2-0 4A-1 Conference) turned three big special teams plays into touchdowns to blow the game open. The Saints blocked a punt, recovered an onside kick and also recovered a sky kick. The last two came in the third quarter after Huntsville had cut a 21-0 halftime deficit to 21-7.
"That gave us the spark we needed," Shiloh Christian coach Jeff Conaway said. "We turned the ball over and the defense was playing great. Anytime special teams can create a turnover it creates a spark and that's what we needed to get in the end zone."
Shiloh Christian fumbled away an early score when Berus was stripped of the ball near the Huntsville end zone on the Saints' opening possession. Later in the quarter the Saints lost another fumble as Reece lost a snap, then kicked the ball as he tried to pick it up and Huntsville's Manuel Aldaco recovered.
Huntsville (2-3, 0-2) had no answer for containing Roth, a 6-foot-1 junior who missed last season with a knee injury. Roth finished the night with 7 catches for 200 yards.
"We liked that matchup," Conaway said. "They are both playmakers and they have this chemistry about them, so we trusted them to throw and catch and they made some big plays."
The duo struck first on a 53-yard scoring pass with 7 minutes, 2 seconds left in the first quarter for a 7-0 lead. Then after Robbie Stevens blocked a Huntsville punt, Reece hit Roth again, this time from 23 yards. The Saints scored once more before the half when Berus ripped the ball away from Huntsville's Jaron Evans and the Saints drove 35 yards before John-Marcus Carruthers found the end zone from a yard out.
Huntsville opened the third quarter in vintage Tommy Tice style. marching 65 yards in 14 plays, using 5:13 off the clock. Evans, who finished the night with 115 yards on 24 carries, was the workhorse on the drive, carrying 11 times before Wil Weaver capped the match with a 1-yard keeper, cutting Shiloh Christian's lead to 21-7.
"The kids came out after halftime and showed a lot of heart," Tice said. "We lost (Levi) Elsey before halftime and I thought Wil came out and did a good job for us, moving us down there and it was a great drive."
One play later, the Saints responded as Reece hit Roth on a 64-yard strike, then back-to-back special teams kickoff recoveries resulted in touchdown as Shiloh Christian turned the 21-7 lead into a 42-7 mercy-rule on Berus' 28-yard touchdown run down the left sideline.
Sports on 10/03/2015
Print Headline: Special teams lift Shiloh Christian