Linebacker does it all for CCHS

Published 5:12 pm Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Stat stuffer: Chilton County’s James Hilyer racked up 12 tackles, one pass defended and one fumble recovered last week.

Chilton County High is on pace to have its best season since the fabled year of 1996, when the Tigers went 10-0, making it all the way to the second round of the playoffs before falling to Demopolis 19-14.

It’s no secret that coach Donnie Hand has the Tigers thinking about the playoffs, even making hosting a playoff game one of the team’s goals throughout the year.

Last week’s 7-3 win at John Carroll secured that spot, but it didn’t come easy. The Tigers needed a big game from linebacker James Hilyer to clinch the home playoff spot first round.

“James and the defense helped hold John Carroll to 85 total yards,” said Hand. “Their fullback was averaging almost 100 yards a game and got 41.”

To say Hilyer was all over the field would be an understatement. He posted 12 tackles, two for loss, one pass defended and one fumble recovered.

And those are just his defensive stats. Although he primarily plays defense, he is utilized on offense on occasion, and caught one pass for 15 yards and rushed once for 15 yards as well.

“He doesn’t play a lot of offense,” Hand said. “That run James had set up our only touchdown, and the pass he caught was our only third down conversion of the night.”

It is performances like Hilyer’s each week that have Tiger fans optimistic about the rest of the season and beyond.

Hand knows that if the season is going to last past the home playoff game in the first round, there is still plenty of work left to do.

“The kids are really excited to host a playoff game in the first round,” he said. “But we/they know we have to get better if we want to get to the second round.”

Honorable mention

Chris Brown, Thorsby

•Rushed 13 times for 154 yards and a touchdown in a 28-20 loss to Montevallo.

•Caught two passes for 12 yards.