Hill's 278 passing yards sparked a stunning upset of unbeaten defending state champion Shaw High of Columbus last Friday. "It was the best game we have probably ever played," says Hill, an early Auburn commitment who will graduate high school in December and enroll at Auburn in January. "It was a big win for us."
Hill completed 28-40 passes and threw two touchdowns with one interception. "I have had a lot more passing yards before, but I think that was my best game ever. Shaw has got a lot of very good players. I know that."
Shaw's secondary features Auburn verbal commitment Brandon Williams as well as talented and physical Troy Bergeron (6-1, 170, sub 4.5), another likely Division I signee who has been to Auburn for a summer camp and an unofficial visit this fall.
Crisp County hits the road for round two of the state playoffs at 7-3 Southlake High in the Atlanta area. Crisp County is 8-3, but is on a roll. The week before upsetting Shaw 20-17 Hill's team knocked off number one ranked Americus in a makeup game postponed from September due to the terrorism attacks.
The victory over Shaw, a team with more than a dozen college prospects, was particularly dramatic and impressive as Crisp County rallied from a 17-0 deficit. "We went into the game, and to be honest with you, I didn't know if we could beat them. We got down 17-0 but then we scored and got some momentum and started believing we could win."
With Shaw concerned about Hill's ability to throw the ball deep, the quarterback says the Raiders gave him the underneath routes and he took advantage of that. He completed 12 passes to receiver Brandon Thomas to keep the chains moving. (Thomas now has 86 receptions, which is a single season state record. Thomas, a senior, is being recruited by colleges but not SEC-level programs.)
"The Shaw game was the biggest win since I have been in high school," says Hill, whose father, Clay Hill, is the head coach. "It gives us a lot of momentum and makes us believe we can win it all. If you can play with Shaw, you can play with anybody."
Tiger Ticket Extra: For the season, Hill has passed for 2,900 yards and 24 TDs. He has played other positions in high school and he could play something other than QB in college...Auburn is also recruiting another player from Crisp County, the school that sent injured seniors Josh Weldon and Whit Smith to Auburn. Neither could play this season, but both are in school working for the athletic department. Preston Pannell, a 6-7, 240 defensive end, is currently attending Hargrave Military Academy in Virginia. He was at Auburn for an official visit for the Alabama game. The Tigers and Georgia Bulldogs are the leaders to get Pannell's signature on scholarship papers. "We are real good friends," Hill says of Pannell. "He was hurt most of his junior year and senior year. He had a big cast on where he broke his arm. I talked to him a couple days ago and he said it is definitely either Auburn or Georgia where he is going to sign. I am trying to get him over there to Auburn. A lot of our other friends go to Georgia so I am not sure where he is going to go." Smith, however, is certain with his college choice. "I am ready to get over to Auburn and get started," he says.
Big defensive tackle Kyle Williams, who took an official visit to Auburn for the Alabama game, is going to see the AU Tigers in person again this weekend. He and his family are taking a visit to Baton Rouge to watch the battle for the SEC West title. Williams, 6-3, 290 with 4.8 speed, attends Ruston, La., High. In addition to LSU, he is also considering Tennessee and Nebraska.