The drought had been a long one for Hilton Head Prep in the rivalry against Hilton Head Christian Academy. Sometimes, when it finally rains, it pours.
The Dolphins ended the Eagles' six-game winning streak in the series with a 32-10 rout Friday afternoon at Hilton Head Prep.
"Things seem to be coming together at the right time for us," Hilton Head Prep coach Kevin Wald said. "It's a huge win for us."
"All of our seniors have been waiting for this for four years," Prep quarterback Tyler Fox said. "We came out banged and bruised, but we got it done."
And they got it done early.
After Hilton Head Prep's opening series stalled, Dorsey Barker pinned the Eagles at their own 1 with a perfect punt.
On the Eagles' first play of the game, the snap was fumbled and running back Andy Ballard fell on the ball in the end zone for a safety and an early 2-0 lead for Hilton Head Prep.
After the free kick, Noah Sulek finished off the Dolphins' drive with a 13-yard touchdown run and Hilton Head Christian Academy was on its heels, trailing 8-0 before actually running a play.
"We were all over them, Wald said. "I thought it would have been closer."
The dagger came in the middle of the third quarter when Fox took a shot deep down the middle of the field. Two Dolphins receivers and two Eagles defenders converged on the ball around midfield and collided.
When the dust settled, Zenon Parker was the only one left standing and streaked the rest of the way to the end zone for a 78-yard touchdown to make the score 18-3.
"I think everybody sees Brennan (Mikell) as the go-to guy and so he had safety help the entire game," Fox said. "Zenon had one-on-one all night tonight. It's incredible.
"My heart dropped when I saw two receivers coming over at the same time. But Zenon, he finds a way to get there."
Both teams lost key players in the first half.
Sulek took a first-quarter pitch from Tyler Fox and turned his left ankle in the backfield, immediately going to the turf in pain. He would return to the defensive side of the ball late in the game, but wouldn't play offense again.
"No way I was going to put him in on offense and let him plant and cut and juke and risk rolling it again," Wald said.
Later, in the second quarter, Eagles standout Chris Edwards gingerly walked toward the sideline after a carry before being helped the rest of the way off the field. He didn't return after halftime.
"It's probably not good (with Edwards)," HHCA coach Ryan Mitch said. "It's probably not good with (Ryan) Ballard either."
Mitch said, despite the score, he's actually happy with how the Eagles played.
"It was the best game of the year by the defense, but the score of the game does not tell you that," Mitch said. "You turn the ball over five times and lose your two best playmakers and you're coming from behind, it's not a good recipe for competing in a football game."
In the SCISAA 1-A playoffs, Hilton Head Prep (8-2) will host Holly Hill Academy at 7:30 Friday night at Hilton Head Island High.
In the 2-A playoffs, Hilton Head Christian Academy (7-3 will host Orangeburg Prep at 7 p.m. Friday.
Hilton Head Prep 32, Hilton Head Christian Academy 10
HHCA 0 3 0 7 -- 10
HHP 8 3 7 14 -- 32
HHP -- Safety, Andy Ballard recovered fumbled snap in end zone, 9:40
HHP -- Noah Sulek 13 run, Sulek kick failed, 5:51
HHP -- Waddy Brooks 30 FG, 11:45
HHCA -- Evan Berkner 30 FG, 5:15
HHP -- Zenon Parker 78 pass from Tyler Fox, Brooks kick, 7:01
HHP -- Parker 25 pass from Fox, Brooks kick, 8:10
HHP -- Brennan Mikell 12 pass from E.J. Churchich, Brooks kick, 3:34
HHCA -- Joey Lankowski 54 pass from Ryan Barrett, Berkner kick, 2:15
First Downs 13 10
Rushes-Yards 21-65 38-101
Comp-Att-Int 21-33-2 8-19-1
Passing Yards 172 158
Punts-Avg 2-35.5 4-35.3
Fumbles-Lost 5-3 3-1
PASSING: HHCA -- Ryan Barrett 21-33-2-172; HHP -- Tyler Fox 7-18-1-146, E.J. Churchich 1-1-0-12.
RUSHING: HHCA --Chris Edwards 6-35, Chandler Edmonds 5-12, Justin Heller 3-11, Ryan Barrett 4-7, Andy Ballard 2-2, Craig Oliver 1-(-2); HHP -- Gavin Hurlbut 17-50, Noah Sulek 7-25, Rodney Sturgis 3-14, Zenon Parker 2-8, E.J. Churchich 1-3, Tyler Fox 7-1, Bryan Allen 1-0.
RECEIVING: HHCA -- Joey Lankowski 1-54, Matt Van Grouw 7-51, James Bartholomew 8-35, Andy Ballard 2-17, Jamareon Clark 2-13, Chris Edwards 1-12; HHP -- Zenon Parker 3-108, John Larson 3-33, Brennan Mikell 2-17.