While it rained at a steady rate and the weather also was chilly Friday, it was Dillon Philmon’s night.
Philmon was a record-breaker on the football field and he also scored five touchdowns, as Hilton handled Rush-Henrietta 34-24 in the regular-season finale for both high school teams.
Yet, on the night when Philmon’s name was called over and again on the public address system at LeBeau Field, he paused to pay respect for someone else.
Andrew Rohloff was 11 years old when his life ended Oct. 10. There was a moment of silence paid to the Northwood Elementary School sixth-grader from nearby Greece before the Monroe County division crossover game. Philmon and his teammates wore decals with the white letters “AR” with a blue background.
Nic Roloff, Andrew’s older brother, is a sophomore at Hilton.
“We — Hilton football, had a loss, Andrew Rohloff,” Philmon said. “With him up there watching me …… A lot of us wore blue to rep AR.
“A lot of that, all of this was for him.”
Philmon finished with a school-record 349 rushing yards, including touchdown runs of 11, 60, 53, 48 and 46 yards. He delivered all of Hilton’s touchdowns behind an offensive line that he described as not the largest but perhaps among the most thick-skinned bunch you will find at this level, in this area.
“They work so hard everyday in practice,” Philmon said. ‘They’re not big guys, we average 220, 230 pounds on the line. You are going to look at the numbers and say, ‘They are short and they are not big.’
“They are just the toughest kids out there. They treat me so well, I look good every week. I gotta love them.”
The Hilton Cadets love their 6-1 record. Their win clinched a home game for them during the first round of the eight-team, Section V Class AA Tournament next week.
“It’s huge coming back from a loss (to undefeated Victor) at homecoming (last week) after rolling through five teams in a row,” Hilton senior defensive back Justin Resseguie said. “We were prepared. We knew what they were going to do.”
Rush-Henrietta’s offense, one of the area’s highest-scoring the last five years or so, failed to score a touchdown for three quarters. The Royal Comets turned the ball over on downs twice during the first half, while the Cadets’ defense also recovered a fumble and intercepted a pass.
The start of a frustrating night for the Royal Comets began on the team’s first drive. R-H moved inside the Hilton 40, but was pushed back and turned the ball over on downs. Hilton punted the ball back to the Royal Comets, who drove from their four-yard line to the Cadets’ 41.
That promising drive ended with a fumble recovered by the Hilton Cadets, who turned that turnover into Philmon’s 11-yard touchdown run. Rush-Henrietta’s Reggie Robinson did tie the score at 6-6, when he returned the ensuing kickoff 94 yards for a touchdown.
Philmon showed he was Hilton’s best option on offense in the steady rain, when he broke free for his 60-yard touchdown run on the team’s next possession. He carried three tacklers during a carry on Hilton’s following drive, then sidestepped defenders during his 53-yard touchdown run. Resseguie, who intercepted a R-H pass in the end zone earlier, ran in Hilton’s conversion attempt to put the Cadets’ lead at 20-6.
School records moved into range for Philmon after his 48-yard touchdown run with 3:57 remaining in the third quarter. The Cadets finished with 434 yards on offense, 405 on the ground, a large chunk provided by you know who.
“It’s bad to say but I like the rain,” Philmon said. “You can’t throw as much.
“I think all of Hilton loves that. We like to grind.”
Hilton 34, Rush-Henrietta 24
H – Dillon Philmon 11 run (kick failed)
RH – Reggie Robinson 94 kickoff return (run failed)
H – Philmon 60 run (kick failed)
H – Philmon 53 run (Justin Resseguie run)
H – Philmon 48 run (Christian Ranke kick)
RH – Jared Gerbino 1 run (run failed)
H – Philmon 46 run (Ranke kick)
RH – Eric Black 18 pass Gerbino (run failed)