HILTON — Karl Kuhns stands 6-foot-3 and weighs 280 pounds.
Jeff Broadnax is 5-8 and tips the scales at 220.
Together, the Hilton seniors left quite an impression on Monday night.
Literally and figuratively.
Kuhns, the anchor of a big and stout offensive line, helped open holes for Broadnax, who finished with 269 yards on 33 carries and three touchdowns to lead the Cadets of Section V to a 49-34 victory over mistake-prone Jamestown in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class A Far West Regional at LeBeau Field.
The win advances ninth-ranked Hilton (11-1) into the state semifinals for the first time in school history. That game will be played Friday against host Union Endicott of Section IV.
Meanwhile, the sixth-ranked Red Raiders, who finish their season 9-3, were able to move the ball, but three interceptions — two returned for touchdowns — a fumble on a punt return, a pair of first-half misfires on fourth down and Hilton’s dominant offensive line sunk their hopes of returning to the semifinals for the second straight year.
“They were very physical and they ran the ball well,” Jamestown coach Tom Langworthy said. “They ran the ball more consistently than us. They were able to control the line of scrimmage and that’s always tough to overcome. I thought we had moments that we hung in there, but just too many mistakes, and some of that is because they’re a good football team.”
The Cadets opened the scoring on their first possession as Broadnax’s number was called on seven straight running plays. Quarterback Colton Thorp capped the drive with a 1-yard sneak for a touchdown and Luca Dodge booted the first of his seven successful point-after tries.
It was a sign of things to come.
The lead grew to 21-0 early in the second quarter when Hilton scored two TDs in just over a minute. The first — a beautiful 47-yard pass from Thorp to Nic Castellana — was set up when Jamestown fumbled during a punt return and the second was a pick-6 by Robert Lowry, who stepped in front of a Jamestown quarterback Trey Drake pass. With just over 10 minutes remaining in the second quarter, the Cadets led 21-0.
It was an uphill battle for Jamestown from there.
The Red Raiders, who came in riding a nine-game winning streak, did close the half with a pair of touchdowns, the first a 25-yard Drake-to-Carson Panebianco pass, and the second a 7-yard run by Carsen Bane, his first of three TDs on the night. Sandwiched between them, however, was a 6-yard TD run by — guess who? — Broadnax.
Armed with a 28-14 lead at intermission, the Cadets appeared in control. And then they removed any doubt early in the third quarter as Broadnax raced to the end zone from 41 yards for a touchdown at the 10:36 mark; and, less than two minutes later, Luke Lockhart picked off a Drake pass and returned it for another score.
“I thought down 14 at halftime if we could get the next score this could be a whole different ballgame,” Langworthy said, “but the first six minutes of that third quarter wasn’t favorable to us, so then we had to play more catchup.”
Jamestown didn’t pack it in. Bane scored two more rushing touchdowns after intermission and Sean O’Brien found the end zone on a 1-yard plunge, but the chilly night belonged to Hilton.
“They’ve got a good combination of size at the line of scrimmage, and (Broadnax) is a nice back,” Langworthy said. “We tried a lot of different things, but credit to them. They have a good scheme for their players, which is what it takes at this level to be a good team.”
During the postgame awards presentation, Kuhns accepted the Far West Regional championship plaque and then was mobbed by his teammates.
It was the first time all night that he was more than happy not to move anyone out of the way.
Despite the disappointment of having the season come to an end, Langworthy said he was “really proud of our players.”
“They gave it their best,” he said. “I know they wanted this. … This is the first year that I’ve coached a sectional title team where we weren’t the favorites early in the year. This team got so much better. The only people who had expectations of competing at Highmark Stadium were the people in the meeting room the first night (of the preseason). Then you do and you win it and then you have this new vision of winning a couple state playoff games and getting to the (championship game), so it’s disappointing that it didn’t work out.
“But … my love of my players is not dependent on winning and losing. I love these guys. Look at how much they care. Sobbing players shows that they care. … At the end of the day, all you really have to your name is your effort. We tried our best.”
NOTES: Drake completed 17 of 29 passes for 195 yards and a touchdown, his 28th of the season, but he was intercepted three times after being picked off just once in the first 11 games. He also rushed for 54 yards on 12 carries. … Colin Melendez (80 yards), Darius Freeney (85 yards) and Panebianco (71 yards) all had five receptions. … Bane rushed for 104 yards and three touchdowns and was credited with 12 tackles … O’Brien amassed 18 tackles, including three for loss, Michael Boron had nine, and Radon Wright and Mason McVinney each had eight. … Ella Propheter was successful on all four of her point-after kicks.
Jamestown 0 14 7 13 — 34
Hilton 7 21 14 7 — 49
Hil — Thorp 1 run (Dodge kick)
Hil — Castellana 47 pass from Thorp (Dodge kick)
Hil — Lowry 34 interception return (Dodge kick)
Jam — Panebianco 25 pass from Drake (Propheter kick)
Hil — Broadnax 6 run (Dodge kick)
Jam — Bane 7 run (Propheter kick)
Hil — Broadnax 41 run (Dodge kick)
Hil — Lockhart interception return (Dodge kick)
Jam — Bane 3 run (Propheter kick)
Hil — Broadnax 3 run (Dodge kick)
Jam — O’Brien 1 run (Propheter kick)
Jam — Bane 8 run (pass fail)