September 14, 2013 7:04:05 PM
From Special Reports
STARKVILLE -- Facing a near-must win situation in the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools Class AAA, District 1 race, the Starkville Academy football team came through in fine fashion Friday night.
Starkville Academy (2-2 overall, 1-1 district) scored six first-half touchdowns en route to a 49-8 win over Hillcrest Christian at J.E. Logan Field.
"This was a game we really needed to have," Starkville Academy coach Jeff Terrill said. "It was the first time this year, you could consider us as a favorite in a game. We challenged the kids to start strong. They took it to heart and did a great job."
The Volunteers ran for 284 yards with six rushing touchdowns. Quarterback Houston Clark led the way with seven rushes for 98 yards, including touchdown runs of 25 and 59 yards. Through the air, Clark completed 4-of-5 passes for 69 yards, with a 38-yard touchdown to Colt Chrestman.
"The offensive line played really well," Terrill said. "They set the tonight. Houston is only a sophomore but he is really growing and developing as a quarterback.
A 5-yard touchdown run by Grant Wolfe started the scoring. O'Shea Kemp followed with a 3-yard scoring run. Wolfe ran 14 times for 85 yards, while Kemp ran nine times for 49 yards.
A 7-yard touchdown by Wolfe ended the quarter with the hosts ahead 21-0. In the second quarter, Clark threw his touchdown and then capped back-to-back scoring marches with additional rushing scores. In the fourth quarter, Noah Heflin had an 8-yard touchdown run for the Volunteers.
Defensively, Hillcrest Christian (0-3, 0-2) was held to 129 yards of total offense and eight first downs.
The Volunteers were led defensively by Drew Harrell and Jake Griffin with seven tackles apiece. Blake Slaughter had an interception, while Zach Mixon and Jonathan Black had fumble recoveries.
"Our defense has really begun to gel," Terrill said. "We have tackled a lot better in the last couple of games and that has been important. We still have to keep getting better in that area, but we have good players and we will."
Starkville Academy visits Magnolia Heights Friday night.