ORIGINALLY WRITTEN DON RATZLAFF
Blessed with superior numbers and skill, the Hillsboro Trojans did everything they should have Friday night against an outmanned Halstead team, winning 53-0.
Senior tailback Jeremy Loewen led the assault with 151 rushing yards and three touchdowns on only 12 carries. Daniel Funk caught two touchdown passes from quarterback Ronn Coates, while Phillip Terrell, Ross Duerksen and Alan Yoder each added a touchdown on the ground.
“Our athleticism should have won out over what they have out right now,” said Trojan coach Dustin McEwen. “They’ll get better as the year goes on. They’re still trying to figure out a lot of things with a new coach and a new system.”
Loewen got the Trojans on the board on the team’s first possession, scampering around left end for a 16-yard score with less than four minutes gone in the game.
On the first play after the kickoff, Hillsboro’s Andrew Hein recovered a Dragon fumble at the Halstead 32-yard line. The Trojans couldn’t cash this one in, but Halstead was on their own 6-yard line when they took over on downs.
After three unsuccessful plays, the Dragons managed a weak punt to their own 31-yard line. Two plays later, Coates connected with Funk from 20 yards out for the team’s second score with 2:52 left in the first quarter.
And it only get worse for Halstead.
On the Dragons’ next possession, Hillsboro’s Wade Sorenson recovered a fumble on Halstead’s 22-yard line.
Four plays later, Loewen scored from two yards out, then ran in a 2-point conversion to make the score 20-0.
From that point, the key question was not who would win, but by how much. Terrell upped the ante with a 10-yard run with 5:05 left in the half, and Coates-to-Funk managed a 37-yard score with 41 seconds left in the half. Sheldon Funk kicked two extra points and Hillsboro led 34-0 at intermission.
The Trojan starters played only the first series of the third quarter, and Loewen made it count with a 9-yard scamper with just over three minutes gone. Sheldon’s Funk’s extra point made it 41-0.
The rest of the game belonged primarily to the Trojan junior varsity. For the offense, Duerksen swept left end for a 44-yard score with 5:26 left in the quarter. Then Alan Yoder did the same thing, only from 53 yards out, with 11:39 left in the fourth quarter.
The only drama left in the game was whether the JV defense would preserve the shutout-which they did, and without a serious scoring threat from the Dragons, who lost their opener last week to Hesston, 55-0.
The schedule for the Trojans toughens considerably this Friday as they host the 2-0 Smoky Valley Vikings at Reimer Field. Game time is 7 p.m.