SIMPSONVILLE — Ki-Jana Madden scored five touchdowns, and Hillcrest defeated Rock Hill 41-14 in the first round of the Class AAAA Division I football playoffs Friday night at Chandler Stadium.
Madden scored on pass receptions of 6 and 12 yards from Collin Sneed, a 1 yard run, an 81-yard kickoff return and a 66-yard punt return for the Rams (11-1), who set a school record with their ninth consecutive victory.
Hillcrest will play at home again in the second round against Sumter, a 41-27 winner over Mauldin.
The Rams jumped out to a 13-0 lead, but the Bearcats bounced back with an 83-yard drive late in the first half.
Rock Hill (4-8) scored on the final play of the half. On second-and-goal from the 1-yard line and 2.7 seconds left, Jua'quan Feaster ran up the middle, was stacked up and then fumbled. But quarterback Brandon Banks picked up the loose ball at the 3 and ran into the end zone.
Easton Templeton's point-after kick pulled the Bearcats to within 13-7.
Then Rock Hill scored on its first play from scrimmage in the second half. Feaster took a direct snap from center and raced 56 yards for a touchdown. Templeton's kick gave the Bearcats a 14-13 lead.
But Madden returned the ensuing kickoff 81 yards for a touchdown.
"We played good there for about two and a half quarters, but the kickoff return really hurt us," Rock Hill coach Joe Montgomery said. "We get back, we go ahead and we don't touch the guy."
Hillcrest scored on its next possession on a 12-yard pass from Sneed to Madden, giving the Rams a 27-14 lead.
Early in the fourth quarter, Madden added a 1-yard touchdown run. Then he added the punt return, his 29th touchdown of the season.
"We've had some ups and downs trying to get the offense installed, but we got in the playoffs. that's better than what we were a year ago," Montgomery said. "We only had 16 seniors, and we started the night with seven 10th-graders, so there's a lot of future."