Hillsboro bounced back from a shaky performance last week to roll past Ellinwood 41-21 Friday night (Sept. 19) at Ellinwood.
The Trojans jumped on the home team early when Daniel Jost returned the Eagles’ punt at the end of the opening possession for 60 yards and a score. Jake Wiebe kicked the extra point and the Trojans led 7-0 less than 2 minutes into the contest.
After another Eagle punt, Hillsboro drove 79 yards in 14 plays with Ishmael Morris going into the end zone from two yards out with 0:45 left in the opening period. Wiebe’s kick made 14-0.
After a strong tongue lashing by their coach at the quarter break, the Eagles mounted a 70-yard scoring drive in 13 plays with Glenn Whitaker scoring from three yards out. Corey Detter kicked the extra point and the Eagles were back within 14-7.
But the Trojans answered on their next possession, marching 67 yards in eight plays. The Trojans actually scored twice — first on a 36-yard pass play from Jacob Fish to Jost, but it was called back on a blocking penalty. Three plays later, Morris scored anyway, running in from four yards out with 2:42 left in the half. Wiebe’s kick was blocked to put Hillsboro’s lead at 20-7.
Three plays into the Eagles’ next possession, Jost picked off a James Lyman pass and returned the ball about 35 yards to the Eagle 33. Jost scored the Trojans’ fourth touchdown of the half on a pass from Fish on fourth-and-goal at the 8-yard line. Jost also caught the 2-point conversion pass from Fish for a 28-7 bulge with 41 seconds to go before intermission.
Ben Gottsch then intercepted James again on the Eagles’ first play from scrimmage, giving HHS another crack from the Eagle 46-yard line. But the Trojans couldn’t convert it before the half ran out.
Morris all but turned the lights out on the Eagles when he took a handoff from Fish on the first play from scrimmage in the third quarter and raced 67 yards up the middle of the field for his second score of the night. Wiebe’s kick made it 35-7 only 19 seconds into the half.
Hillsboro pushed the lead to 41-7 when Gottsch caught a pass from Fish from 23 yards out in the opening seconds of the fourth quarter. A bad snap foiled the extra-point attempt by Wiebe.
The lead remained 41-7 until Ellinwood scored twice in the final 2:33. James burned the Trojan defense by throwing deep to a wide open Ethan Linden for a 55-yard score. Then, when the Trojans failed to cover the ball on the ensuing kickoff, Ellinwood recovered it on the Trojan 24-yard line. Five plays later, James hit Ryan Ward with a one-yard scoring pass with 40 seconds left in the contest.
The win boosted Hillsboro’s record to 2-1 overall and 1-0 in league play while Ellinwood dropped to 2-1 and 1-1.