HHCA hammers JPII for 7-0 start

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The Blackshear-Peduzzi Express took a series to get up to speed Friday night, but once it got going, there was no stopping it.

Jace Blackshear rushed for two touchdowns and tossed three TDs, including two to homecoming king JP Peduzzi, who also added a rushing touchdown in Hilton Head Christian Academy’s 42-14 rout of visiting John Paul II.

The undefeated Eagles went three-and-out on their first offensive series, sandwiched between two promising JPII drives that ended with a fumbled option pitch and a fourth-down stop, giving the Golden Warriors hope that they could hang with the region frontrunners.

Then Peduzzi lined up at quarterback and took off on a scramble, breaking tackles on his way to a 61-yard scamper that set up his 3-yard TD plunge a couple plays later. The train really got rolling in the second quarter, as the Eagles scored four touchdowns in an eight-minute span to put it out of reach.

Blackshear started the outburst with a 30-yard TD run, then threw touchdown passes on three straight drives, hitting Cameron Strickland for a score before twice connecting with Peduzzi. The Eagles put it away for good with a quick scoring drive coming out of the half, as Blackshear returned the opening kickoff past midfield and took an option pitch from Peduzzi around the right end to cap off the drive.

The Golden Warriors scored a pair of late touchdowns, as Jeremiah Young floated at TD pass to Jackson Ogden and Christian Tilton threw a jump ball to the end zone that towering receiver Malone Kinard-Huisinger went up and snagged for a score.

HHCA’s defense was dominant after bending but not breaking on the first two possessions, holding Young to 56 yards on 15 carries and allowing only five completed passes. Austin McIntosh had 16 carries for 63 yards for JPII, and Kinard-Huisinger had two catches for 67 yards and a score.

The Eagles were flawless on special teams, as well, as first-year kicker Logan Harsta was 6-for-6 on PATs.

The Eagles (7-0, 3-0) can wrap up the region title with a win at Beaufort Academy next Friday. JPII (2-5, 1-2) travels to Hilton Head Prep next Friday with a playoff spot on the line.