PRINCETON — The Princeton Tigers became the hunted Friday night at Bryant Field.
Monmouth-Roseville’s Martel Hunter rushed for 221 yards on just nine carries and scored five touchdowns to lead to a 42-0 win over the Tigers in West Central Conference play.
Hunter romped 67 and 53 yards to paydirt on back-to-back plays to start the second quarter after the Titans recovered an onside kick. The Titans junior back added scores of 31 and 11 before the half was out to give the Titans a 35-0 halftime lead and tacked on a 45-yard run early in the third quarter.
“Yeah, he does a great job. That’s all great coaching by the way,” M-R coach Jeremy Adolphson said in jest. “We got just enough going around him that allows him to do the things we does. I thought we had seams. But once he gets in the open field, he’s just so good at making that extra cut, using somebody that’s downfield to shield off another defender and getting into the end zone, and I’m glad we have him.”
Area basketball fans will remember Hunter for his play for the Titans’ basketball team that lost in overtime to Fieldcrest in the sectional finals at Princeton. He was also a state track qualifier in four events before pulling a hamstring in the prelims.
“He’s a super quiet kid, the quietest we have out there. easy to coach because he does what you tell him to do and does it very well and does better than any one of us can do it,” Adolphson said.
Before Hunter roamed Bryant Field, the Titans struck with the passing game early with Will Myers catching a 38-yard TD pass from Dillon Frieden. Adolphson said that play helped set the Titans up for the rest of the night.
“Princeton’s defense is very athletic, they do have some size. We thought maybe there was some big-play opportunities in the passing game,” he said. “We got one early on that helped us, maybe backed them off a little bit and we were able to get the ball outside. They were really jamming up the inside where most of our success has been recently and the kids were able to execute some plays to the outside we haven’t ran as well the past couple weeks.”
PHS coach Jesse Snyder said the big plays certainly hurt the Tigers.
“We were right there with them a little bit. Couple big plays happened and we’ve got to continue winning that sudden change. When something bad happens, we’ve got to pick ourselves up and continue to play the game,” he said.
“The kids played hard just like they have all year. We’re going to continue to fight, we’re going to continue work hard every week.
• Tiger tales: PHS junior C.J. Hilliard sustained a neck injury on a hard hit on a kickoff in the third quarter and was taken off the field by stretcher and to Perry Memorial Hospital by hospital. Team trainer Rich Everett said Hilliard was alert and moving his extremities, but complaining of neck pain and a real bad headache. Everything checked out OK on the CT scan, Everett said, and Hilliard was released.