Big plays on both sides of the ball paved the way for Hillsboro’s 20-0 win over Smoky Valley Friday at Joel H. Wiens Stadium.
The win moves the Trojans to 5-0 overall and 3-0 in the North Division of the Central Kansas League while the Vikings fell 3-2 and 2-1.
It appeared in the first half that neither team would find a way to score. Smoky Valley came close on its first possession, driving from its 37-yard line all the way to the Trojan 5 before Hillsboro shut the Vikings down.
But lightning—personified by Shaq Thiessen—struck twice with less than three minutes left in the half. On first down at the Trojan 26, Hillsboro quarterback Tyler Proffitt unleased a bomb down the Smoky Valley sideline that Thiessen snagged over the head of his defender, than ran the final yards for the game’s first score. Jesse Brown’s kick made it 7-0 with 2:29 showing.
Six plays into Smoky’s next possession, Viking quarterback Ethan Loder fired a pass down the middle of the field but Thiessen picked it off near midfield and ran it back all the way to the Viking 1-yard line.
Proffitt scored the touchdown one play later and Brown followed with another PAT kick to make it 14-0 with 1:06 left in the half. A stunned Viking squad could only run out the clock with the hope of regrouping for the second half.
Proffitt lit the fuse for the visitors when he threw a pass into the hands Smoky’s Holden Hendricks five plays into the third quarter to give the Vikings the ball at the Trojan 13.
But Hillsboro returned the favor when Brown stepped in front of a Viking receiver at the goal line and snagged Loder’s pass over the middle.
After the Trojans went three-and-out, Smoky set up camp at its own 24. Loder then fumbled on the first play of the possession. Hillsboro defensive end Josh Wiebe picked up the football and ran 19 yards for the score with 7:43 left in the third quarter. Brown missed the kick but Hillsboro led 20-0.
The remainder of the game turned out to be a series of missed opportunities by both teams. Brown intercepted Loder two more times, while Proffitt fumbled away one snap while the Trojans were threatening in the red zone.
Late in the final quarter, it appeared the Vikings might break the shut out when they drove from their own 20 to the Trojan 6 in 14 plays. But Evan Ollenburger intercepted Loder one more time, this time in the end zone with 3:45 to play, to snuff out the Vikings’ hope of scoring.
Hillsboro will host Remington next Friday for the Trojans’ homecoming.