Hilton Head Christian Academy may not have all of the weapons it used to win the SCISAA Class 2-A state championship last season.
The Eagles still have quarterback Luke Sirgo though, and with him behind center, the offense is still capable of flipping it on like a light switch.
Thomas Heyward Academy got a first-hand look at Hilton Head Christian's quick-strike ability on Friday as Sirgo directed the offense 79 yards in 58 seconds before halftime for a momentum-shifting touchdown that snowballed into a 41-14 Eagles victory.
"You know you're always in it when you've got an offense that can score like that," Hilton Head Christian coach Tommy Lewis said. "... The guys really did a nice job of executing our two-minute drill."
Thomas Heyward came into the game fighting for a spot in the playoffs, and for most of the first half, the Rebels seemed capable of pulling the upset.
After a 28-yard touchdown run by Sirgo to open the scoring, the Rebels answered with an 84-yard touchdown pass to Logan Mock.
After JaBrook Tucker scored another Eagles touchdown, Thomas Heyward responded with an impressive drive in the second quarter, capped off by another Mock touchdown to tie the score at 14.
The Rebels came close to taking the lead just before halftime, marching to the Eagles' 5-yard line. After three impressive stops by the Eagles' defense, aided by a back-breaking holding call, Sirgo and Co. took over on their own 21-yard line with 58 seconds left before the half.
It was just enough time to change the outlook of the game.
Sirgo completed long passes to Ryan Emery and Alex Martin and then Tucker capped off the six-play drive with a 1-yard touchdown plunge.
"We were doing our rollout game and it was working for us," Sirgo said. "...We are pretty confident in our quick-scoring abilities."
The second half was all Hilton Head Christian. Josh Mousseau caught a 33-yard touchdown pass, Tucker caught a 7-yard touchdown pass and junior defensive lineman Nick Borghi even got in on the scoring action, intercepting a Tuten pass in the end zone for the first touchdown of his career.
Defensive lineman Kyle Weaver also had an interception in the game and finished with four tackles. Cole Malphrus led the defense with five tackles and a sack.
"We're definitely not a one-man show on either side of the ball," Lewis said. "Somebody always seems to step up. That's just the way these guys are. Each one of them believes they can contribute in a big way, and it seems like each week, somebody does."
Hilton Head Christian's defense held Thomas Heyward to just eight yards of offense in the second half. The Eagles improve to 7-1 overall and 4-0 in SCISAA Region 2-AA. Thomas Heyward falls to 5-4 overall and 1-3 in region play.
"I was very pleased with the first half of football," Thomas Heyward coach Nic Shuford said. "That drive they put together at the end of the first half might have swung it a little bit. They made some adjustments at halftime and came out and executed well. They shut us down offensively and started moving the ball really well. Hats off to them, that's a great football team over there."