Hills' Syracuse-bound senior quarterback Devante McFarlane rushed for four touchdowns and threw for a fifth Friday night to lead Half Hollow Hills West to a 34-14 victory over Smithtown West in the Division II season opener.
McFarlane rushed for 287 yards on 17 carries, including touchdown runs of 93, 60, 46 and 17 yards.
The victory provided a measure of redemption for the Colts, who lost 42-14 to the Bulls in the final game of the 2010 regular season, a win that propelled the Bulls into the playoffs while the Colts stayed home.
“We had this game circled on our calendars,” admitted Colts coach Kyle Madden. “We watched film of Smithtown West in the weight room, while we were working out, just to remind us of just how hard we had to work.”
“Because of the last game of last season, we wanted to prove ourselves that we're not just a pushover team,” added McFarlane, who burst through holes all night long. “My line definitely worked hard, and I give ‘em props.”
“When Devante gets through that first line of defense, it’s real hard to bring him down,” said Madden. “Their linebackers and secondary had a tough time getting a clean shot on him.”
“I think we could have done a better job stopping it,” said Bulls coach Peter Cerullo. “He’s obviously very talented, he’s a standout. He had some room to run, and that was it.”
McFarlane’s 23-yard touchdown pass to Jared Redwood gave the Colts a 6-0 lead early, but the Bulls took the lead, 7-6, after a 26-yard touchdown run by James Pannell. The senior running back led the Bulls with 151 yards on 25 carries and two touchdowns.
The Colts took the lead for good early in the second quarter when McFarlane burst for a 60-yard touchdown on the first play after the Colts took possession on a punt. Later, the Colts blocked a punt in Bulls territory, and after four plays McFarlane found the end zone on a 17-yard run to make it 20-7.
The Bulls drove inside the 20 late in the second but failed to score, as Randy Davis intercepted a pass from Matt Heldberg (9-of-18 passing for 111 yards, 55 yards rushing).
In the third quarter, the Bulls failed to convert on fourth-and-one, giving the Colts possession at their own 36. Two plays later, McFarlane busted up the middle for a 46-yard touchdown run, upping the Colts’ lead to 27-7.
He capped off his stellar night early in the fourth on the first play after the Colts defense stopped the Bulls at the seven yard-line. McFarlane again broke through the middle and outran the defense for a 93-yard score.
“We were putting drives together, but we weren’t finishing,” Cerullo said. “We kept stalling. We just couldn’t put it in.”
McFarlane said the victory was a statement that the Colts will not be satisfied with just making the playoffs.
“The goal is way bigger than that,” he said. “We’re thinking championship, and we’re going to take it a game at a time and see where it goes from there.”
The Colts continue the season Saturday at home against Whitman, while the Bulls travel to Newfield on Friday night.TEAM 1 2 3 4 F Hills West 6 14 7 7 34 Smithtown West 7 0 0 7 14