Late comeback falls short for HHS

The Hillsboro Trojans missed a successful fourth-quarter comeback by a measley few yards, losing to Smoky Valley, 13-12, Friday night at Reimer Field in Hillsboro.

A 35-yard field goal attempt by Caleb Marsh with 1:00 on the clock sailed just left of the left upright to preserve the win for the Vikings (1-2).

Hillsboro fell behind 13-3 with 2:41 left in the third quarter when Smoky’s Sean Hedberg scored from five yards out and Ian Johnson added the extra point. Hedberg’s score capped a three-play, 5-yard drive that was set up on a 31-yard interception return by Brandon Krinhop of a Dustin Jost pass.

The situation looked dire for Hillsboro when Krinhop returned a Trojan punt 68 yards to the Hillsboro 10-yard line with 11:05 left in the final quarter. But the Trojans held on four plays and took over on their 10-yard line with 9:23 to go.

Eight plays later, Jost hit Tyler Peachey with a 42-yard touchdown pass down the left sideline, Marsh added the extra point, and Hillsboro trailed, 13-10.

Rejuvenated, Hillsboro added a safety when the defense recorded two QB sacks to push the Vikings back to their own 10, and Kyle Jilka blocked a Smoky Valley punt in the end zone with 3:50 to go.

After the safety kick, Hillsboro had the ball at the Viking 44. One play later, Alan Yoder broke a run down the left sideline. He was pushed out of bounds inside the 5-yard line of Smoky Valley, but the officials said he stepped out of bounds at the 15.

Three plays later, on third-and-three at the 8-yard line, Jost ran a called bootleg to the right side, but was dropped for a 9-yard loss, setting up Marsh’s 35-yard field goal attempt. It had the distance but drifted left.

Smoky took over and ran out the clock.

With the loss, Hillsboro drops to 1-2. The Trojans begin Mid Division play next week with a homecoming game against Ellinwood.

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