SPRINGTOWN — An early scoring barrage and a trio of mistakes in the first quarter had Collinsville playing from behind the entire way and unable to keep pace with high-powered Hico on Friday night.

SPRINGTOWN — An early scoring barrage and a trio of mistakes in the first quarter had Collinsville playing from behind the entire way and unable to keep pace with high-powered Hico on Friday night.


Cade Hitzfeld scored three touchdowns, two of them on the ground, as the Tigers defeated the Pirates, 54-14, in a Class 1A Division I Region II semifinal at Porcupine Stadium.


Hico (12-1) will face district mate Goldthwaite in the region final at Brownwood on Friday.


Collinsville (9-4) was playing in the region semifinals for the first time since 2009 and the Pirates were unable to get anything going against the Tigers. Collinsville was the only non-District 5-A (I) team remaining in the region’s final four after victories against Wolfe City and Italy.


The Pirates were down 35-0 at the half when they came out on the opening drive of the third quarter and scored with a five-yard touchdown pass from John Lewis to Connor Daley. Lewis took the snap and ran to the right before pulling up and lobbing a pass to Daley, the normal quarterback, near the back of the end zone.


Hico put to rest any thoughts of a rally when Hitzfeld had a 53-yard TD run on the first play from scrimmage following Collinsville’s score. The Tigers got a short touchdown run from Duane Hyles and then another first-play touchdown on their next possession — a 49-yarder by Tyler Turner — to take a 54-7 lead early in the fourth quarter.


Hico finished with 404 yards on 46 carries but did not have a single 100-yard rusher. Blake Hyles finished with 88 yards on 11 carries, followed by Turner’s 84 yards, 76 from Hitzfeld and 74 more from Duane Hyles.


Andrew Harris finished off Collinsville’s only other scoring drive with an eight-yard touchdown run with 1:54 remaining. The play was set up by a 42-yard run from Lewis, who finished with 88 yards on 14 carries. Going into that snap the Pirates had 26 carries for 26 yards.


The Pirates turned the ball over and were stopped on fourth down during their first three possessions to fall into a hole that proved too difficult to overcome.


Hico jumped right to the lead following Turner’s big return of the opening kickoff to the Collinsville 27. Five plays later Hitzfeld scored on a seven-yard reverse going to his left on fourth-and-six as the receiver was able to gain the corner and reach the end zone.


The Pirates were about to answer by going to the air when Hayden Smith fumbled after a 16-yard catch at the Tigers 15. Hico marched the other way and finished off the drive with a nine-yard touchdown pass from Hunter Wood to Hitzfeld with 4:40 left in the quarter.


Two plays after Collinsville started its second drive Lewis fumbled near midfield and the Tigers recovered. Dallas Anderson’s five-yard TD run gave the Tigers a 21-0 advantage.


Needing to get back into the game, Collinsville picked up a first down and then went for it on fourth-and-one at the Hico 43. Lewis lined up in the shotgun at quarterback and was stopped short by a half-length of the football. The turnover on downs didn’t hurt because Smith came up with a fumble recovery moments later to get the Pirates the ball back.


Hico scored twice more in the second quarter on a 16-yard run by Turner and then a one-yard plunge by Dakota Mullins with 1:38 remaining before the break.


Collinsville had just 26 yards on 12 carries and five first downs in the opening half while Hico had seven Tigers with at least three carries in taking the commanding lead.