By Cliff Mehrtens

CHARLOTTE  - The effects of a three-day school retreat were obvious for SouthLake Christian's football team Friday. The Eagles, limited to a day-and-a-half of practice, began sluggishly in a road game against Hickory Grove Christian.

Penalties. Missed tackles and blocks. A dropped pass.

Then the cobwebs cleared.

Suddenly, SouthLake was passing the ball with abandon. And intercepting most everything Hickory Grove launched into the air.

Once the Eagles loosened up, it became a runaway 35-6 victory. SouthLake's Randy Schroeder passed for 471 yards and five touchdowns, including scores on four straight possessions in the first half. The Eagles improved to 5-0, and were never seriously challenged.

"We really played well as a team," Schroeder said. "We got it going good early, but we needed to do better in the second half. We missed two days of practice and it affected us. We came out a little slow. In the second quarter we picked it up and turned the switch on."

Schroeder's first two touchdown passes went to Caleb Hines, an 86-yarder down the sideline and a 41-yard post pattern for a 14-0 lead. The next two scores went to D.J. Wilson, a leaping 10-yarder and a 14-yarder that gave SouthLake a 28-6 lead.

The Eagles sealed matters in lightning-quick fashion to begin the second half. On the first play from scrimmage, Schroeder connected with Demetri Allison for a 57-yard gain. On the next play, Schroeder fired a 3-yard touchdown pass to Conner O'Donnell. Sasha Robertson's fifth extra point made it 35-6 less than 30 seconds into the third quarter.



From there, the game bogged down. SouthLake substituted liberally, and perhaps relaxed based on the lopsided margin.

"It's part of the maturation process," SouthLake Christian coach Bub O'Donnell said. "I told them 'You know you're better than this, but you've got to fight through the cobwebs. ...But we worked through that."

The SouthLake defense was impressive, with four interceptions and a consistent pass-rush. Linebacker Brian Jones had nine tackles and a sack.

Hines caught six passes for 201 yards, and Wilson had six receptions for 160 yards.