Summit was fresh off a quite extended “bye” coming into its first-round 5A playoff game against the Hillwood Toppers.

The team has had its games against Overton, Page, Shelbyville Central and Lincoln County counted as wins due to COVID-19 cancellations this season, and has not played since Oct. 8 (a 33-9 win at Franklin Co.).

The Spartans were 9-1 going into this game as a result. 

With the extended time off, the Spartans got a lot of players the rest they needed but were unable to get star prospect Keaten Wade back for this game. They didn’t let that slow them down, though, as the Spartans took the win over the Toppers, 42-6.

“Everybody had been saying all week how we were gonna be rusty because we hadn’t played in so long,” said Summit Head Coach Brian Coleman. “Which we knew; we understand that we hadn’t played in a little over a month, but also at the same rate we got a little healthy.”

The Spartans got off to a fast start on the offensive side of the ball, scoring with a little under two minutes off the clock in the first quarter thanks to a quarterback Destin Wade scramble for eight yards. The Spartans missed the PAT but found the endzone again five minutes later on a 5-yard John Dippold touchdown run to go up 14-0 at the end of the first quarter.

The story of the second quarter was something a lot of Spartans fans have seen this season, which is Destin Wade taking over games. Wade scored three touchdowns in the second quarter through the air. Wade found Brady Pierce two times and Graham Schneider once to increase the lead to 35 points.

Destin Wade is fresh off a 5A Mr. Football semifinalist nomination. 

“Wade did great,” said Coleman. “He managed the game well and we didn’t need to run him a lot tonight because of Dippold and running game, so he just had to play quarterback tonight. He completed five passes tonight and three were touchdowns, so he did great.”

Summit found the endzone again before halftime thanks to a pick-six by linebacker Caleb Jolley as Summit went into the second up 42-0.

Summit took a conservative approach to the second half and didn’t score again, using the clock for all it was worth.

Hillwood found the endzone for its only score of the game on a 22-yard rocket from Cam Davis to Avion Brown. Brown was one of the bright spots for Hillwood, having 67 yards receiving and the only touchdown for the Toppers. Cam Davis also had a nice contribution with 160 yards passing. Summit’s defense allowed one more yard to the Hillwood that came from the run game.

Summit made up for the loss of Keaton Wade tonight with the committee of running backs that had a monster night with a total of 316 yards rushing with John Dippold and Brandon King having the biggest contributions of 68 and 82 yards rushing each, respectively. 

“We got healthy,” said Coleman. “Those guys had been beat up and we’ve been pretty deep at running back and now they’re starting to get healthy and running the ball hard. That helps this football team out. The offensive line did a great job of giving those guys big holes to run through.

Summit is now looking ahead to Columbia Central at home next week in the second round, who the team beat 35-0 in the regular season that first week of September.

Just like in any sport, it is very tough to beat any one time twice in the same year and Summit understands that better than anyone.

“It’s tough to beat someone twice in one season,” said Coleman. “Our guys can’t be overconfident at all. Columbia can beat anybody at any time. They proved tonight against a really good Gallatin team. They’ll come in and play hard and we’ll have to match that intensity.

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