Columbus Knocks off Meridian 14-0

Columbus High is a team with expectations. The Falcons are looking to make a run at a 6A crown this fall. The "Bird Gang" picked up some momentum on Saturday night when they knocked off Meridian 14-0 thanks in part to some stingy defense and some strong running by Mississippi State commitment Kylin Hill.

Kylin Hill is considered one of the top prospects in his home state regardless of position. The senior standout is determined to make his final season on the prep level his best one. A big win over Meridian proved to be a huge confidence booster for a Columbus team who began to learn how to win last season.

"My spirits are very high right now," Hill said following the jamboree victory. "I feel very confident about our season coming up. We got a little lazy a couple of times tonight and that's why we didn't score many points. The main thing is we got the win, but I know once everybody does their job and takes care of their man, that we can run the scoreboard up."

The Falcons were playing well on defense, but the offense always seemed to be just one block or one step away from making something happen. Hill took an inside hand off, broke a tackle and then raced 50 yards down into the Meridian red zone. The game turned on that long distance gallop. 

"I feel like our offensive line came out a bit nervous," Hill said. "It took us a little longer than I expected to get right. Once we got comfortable, we were able to make some plays. At the end, we were able to put some points on the board and that is going to be big for everybody's confidence."

The Falcons will take on Kemper County this week in the season opener. When Hill has a chance to speak with his teammates before Monday's practice, his message will be clear.

"The main thing I want to tell everybody is just do your job," Hill said. "If everybody does their job, then we can win. We just have to work hard and have a good week of practice. We have a few things we can improve on."

While Hill entered the weekend as the headliner, he had some help from a talented wide out who forced the Meridian defense to respect the pass. Once Michael McCloud secured a pair of C.J. Gholar passes, the Meridian safeties were unable to load the box. As a result, Hill found more room to run.

"Mike is a young guy who started last year. He's a junior this year," Hill said. "He is one of the fastest men in the state. He's faster than me. He won state in track. He's always had the speed. He just had to get some confidence at his position. He hasn't played football his whole life, but he's the MVP of the game."

Meridian has been a power in 6A South for most of the past decade. For Columbus to come out with a win even in an exhibition or sorts is big for the Falcons as they prepare to compete for a chance to win big this fall.

"Our defense really picked us up," Hill said. "If it wasn't for them, we wouldn't have won this game. Meridian is one of the best defenses in the state. They stacked the box to stop our running game a lot. We were able to overcome that and we got the W."

Hill is not one to rest on his laurels. The four star running back reports that he is ready to get to work to prepare for next week's contest, With football season finally here, Hill is all business. 

"I am ready to watch film and clean up the things we did wrong," Hill said. "He just have to fix the gaps and stop being lazy and we will be okay."

With a big season pending, Hill is happy to have his college recruitment settled. The Scout National 300 member pledged his college allegiance to Mississippi State earlier this summer. With the decision making process behind him, Hill is laser focused on what could be for CHS.

"I am just focused on my senior year, getting eligible, getting enrolled and getting a ring," Hill explained. "I have high expectations for Mississippi State this year too. They have a lot of talented young guys back from last year. I have a lot of confidence in the defense too. The defense is going to be right. The offense has some talent and a new quarterback. We are going to have to see what they can do."

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