Hillsboro drops opener to Haven, 31-6

A young and relatively inexperienced Hillsboro football team learned some tough lessons at the hands of a veteran Haven squad Froday night as the visiting Wildcats earned a convincing 31-6 win at Tabor Field.

Mistakes led to the first two scores of the game. Haven’s Andy Dirks picked up a Trojan fumble on the Hillsboro 22-yard line and ran it in for a touchdown with only 1:30 gone in the game. The extra-point kick was good.

But Hillsboro got a break later in the quarter when a bad snap from center on a Haven punt attempt gave the Trojans the football on the Haven 34. A pass from Caleb Marsh to Daniel Deckert gave Hillsboro a first down at the 1-yard line. Two plays later, Marsh snuck it in for the touchdown with 2:35 left in the quarter. The extra point kick was blocked.

Haven struck back only seconds later when quarterback Dirks teamed with Matt Meyer for a 67-yard touchdown pass. This time Hillsboro blocked the kick and the score was 13-6 with 1:49 left in the quarter.

Haven scored again with 2:10 left in the half on a 3-yard run by Jesse Morris to cap a 12-play 77-yard drive.

But when Marsh threw an interception on the Trojans’ first play after the kickoff, Haven scored again in three plays — including a 37-yard TD pass to Meyer with 1:17 on the clock.

Neither team scored through most of the second half, though Hillsboro blew a huge opportunity when fullback Kyle Jilka fumbled into the end zone from one yard out.

Haven finally added one more TD that was set up by Marsh’s third interception of the night. Cody Johnson returned the ball 52 yards to the Trojan 24. Six plays later, Dirks scored from six yards out for the final 31-6 margin.

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