POTTSTOWN >> Saturday proved to be a day of firsts for The Hill School football team.
A first-year head coach going up against his former team.
A pair of first-year running backs manning The Hill backfield.
A sophomore quarterback getting his first season-opening start as the slated No. 1 signal caller.
And ultimately, The Hill School’s first season-opening win since 2009 — as the Rams came away with a 25-16 win over Wyoming Seminary on Saturday afternoon at Dell Field.
“It’s been an emotional roller coaster over the past 48 hours,” said Hill School head coach Jeff Hollway, who had spent the last three years as head coach on the Wyoming Seminary sideline. “Over the last three seasons, I’ve built great relationships with a lot of those players (on Wyoming). And I know that we’re starting to build relationships already on this sideline.
“It was a hard-fought battle. I’m proud of the way our guys pulled through.”
First-year running back Daniel Adeboboye carried it 11 times for 108 yards and a pair of touchdowns. The Toronto native sealed the game with just over three minutes remaining and the Rams up three. He took it 10 yards, shedding three defenders in the process before spinning and falling his way into the end zone to give The Hill the eventual final score.
“I was thinking end zone from the second we broke the huddle,” said Adeboboye. “That was the mentality I had to have. (Wyoming’s) got a lot of size up front, but once we were able to get past their guys up front, we were able to find some gaps and some room to run.”
True-freshman running back Gernard Finney carried it 10 times for 77 yards and a pair of touchdowns. The speedster also reeled in two passes for 16 yards.
Adeboboye’s game-sealing score came as a result of a pivotal stop by The Hill defense.
The Wyoming offense was within the redzone with just over three minutes remaining.
The Blues’ defense made a stand, forcing a Blue Knight field goal try that banked off the crossbar.
“It was a great team win,” said Hollway. “We battled and fought and made the stops when we needed to.”
Wyoming Seminary quarterback Jared Piatnik racked up 237 passing yards with touchdown passes to Otis Thrasher and Duncan Breig. Deshaun Jupiter-Deane pulled in six catches for 121 yards.
Party Like it’s 2009
The Hill’s last season-opening win — a 32-12 decision over Germantown Academy in 2009 — served as the start of a remarkable season.
The Rams finished the year 5-0 in the MAPL League (8-0 overall).
“This community and the alumni base have been starving for a successful football team,” said Hollway. “The program has had some great players and great coaches, but for some reason, The Hill School hasn’t been able to get it done. We’ve got an awesome group of players who just want to win. I really believe we can make this season into something special.”
Why So Syre-ious?
After filling in for an injured Clayton Oliver a majority of last season, quarterback Syre Gruber will serve as The Hill’s signal caller this season. Gruber racked up 51 total yards carrying it seven times for 16 rushing. He completed seven of his 13 passing attempts and was picked off twice.
Saturdays Are For The Boys
All 10 of the Hill School’s games this season will be played on Saturdays. Though they won’t get to play under the typical Friday night lights, the Rams will have the advantage of hosting their annual rivalry game back home against Lawrenceville Academy to close out the season in November.