Hunter Illing isn’t sure, but he thinks the five touchdown passes he had for Socastee on Friday night in the Braves’ season-opening 39-14 win over West Brunswick (N.C.) might be a personal best.
The senior quarterback wasn’t overly concerned about it, either. He was just glad to be back on the field.
“It feels amazing to get back out with all my friends and my brothers and get out and compete again for one another, to play together as a family,” said Illing, who was 8-for-13 for 156 yards and an interception.
Socastee scored on its first possession on a 9-yard scoring pass from Illing to Carson Stout, but the Trojans answered with a 19-yard touchdown run by Jacary Bethel. However, the Braves stretched the lead to 15-6 on the next possession when Illing paired with Devin Stamp on a 71-yard catch and run with 6:22 left in the first quarter.
A roughing-the-passer call helped set up Illing’s third touchdown, a 14-yard strike to Stamp, and the Trojans added another score on a 18-yard run from Demonte Daniels to cut the lead to 21-14 at halftime.
Illing added two more scoring passes in the third quarter, one from 10 yards out to Dashaun Myers and the other from 14 yards to Bricen Nguyen. Edward Tucker added a 22-yard touchdown run for the Braves in the fourth quarter.
Edward Tucker’s 76-yard interception helped set up Illing’s fourth TD pass of the night, and helped jump start Socastee’s defense early in the third quarter as the Braves shut out West Brunswick in the second half.
Hunter Illing, Socastee: 8-for-13 passing for 156 yards and five touchdowns.
Dashaun Myers, Socastee: 14 carries for 93 yards.
Edward Tucker, Socastee: 8 carries for 88 yards and a TD, and an interception
Jacary Bethel, West Brunswick: 12 carries for 85 yards and a touchdown.
By the numbers
Touchdown passes thrown by Socastee QB Hunter Illing, which the senior QB thinks might be a career best.
Points allowed by the Braves defense in the second half against West Brunswick
Passing yards for Illing after his first three throws of the night. He started out 3-for-3, and two of those completions were touchdowns.
They said it
“We are very pleased, very happy to see where we’re at. You try to get scrimmages and walk them along, and get them crawling to where they can walk, and eventually we can get to a sprint mode.” – Socastee coach Doug Illing
“That’s for my o-line and my receivers. If they don’t catch the ball and the o-line doesn’t block, that never happens, so that all goes to them and they did great tonight.” Socastee quarterback Hunter Illing on his five-touchdown performance.
West Brunswick: at Whiteville
Socastee: at North Brunswick (N.C.)
SOC-Hunter Illing 24 pass to Carson Stout (pass complete), 9:21
WB-Jacary Bethel 19 run (run failed), 6:53
SOC-Illing 71 pass Devin Stamp (Bricen Nguyen kick), 6:22
SOC-Illing 14 past to Stamp (kick blocked), 6:54
SOC-Illing 10 pass Dashaun Myers (run failed), 6:06
SOC-Illing 14 pass to Nguyen (kick failed), 1:13
SOC-Edward Tucker 22 run (kick failed), 5:30
Rushing: West Brunswick: Jacary Bethel 12-85, TD; Socastee: Dashaun Myers 14-93; Edward Tucker 8-88.
Passing: West Brunswick: Owen McDowell 1-7-3 11; Socastee: Hunter Illing 8-13-1 156.
Receiving: West Brunswick: Dylan Jefferies 1-11; Socastee: Devin Stamp 3-94.