Hillsboro comes up short against Collegiate

A late interception of a Josh Boese pass by Jamal Murray ended another potentially winning last-minute drive by the Hillsboro Trojans and enabled the state-ranked Spartans to escape with a 13-7 victory over the Trojans in their homecoming game at Reimer Field.

In many ways, the Trojans outplayed the undefeated Spartans (5-0), but a couple of critical mistakes kept them out of the win column.

The Trojans got an early opportunity to score when Spartan punter Mitch Gentry inadvertently downed the football when he went to a knee to scoop up a low snap.

Hillsboro got the ball on the Spartan 12. Two plays later from the 8-yard line, Boese connected with wide receiver Troy Frick, who fumbled the ball into the end zone and out of bounds to give Collegiate the touchback.

The Spartans finallyy broke the 0-0 deadlock later in the period when Bo Dunne intercepted a Boese pass and ran it back 20 yards for the score. The kick made it 7-0 with 3:17 on the clock.

Though Hillsboro began moving the ball on the ground against the Spartans, no one scored before halftime.

The Spartans scored again after recovering a Michael Suderman fumble at the Hillsboro 45, then pieced two passes with four straight runs by John Houlik for the score. The touchdown run was from three yards out.

The extra-point kick sailed wide left to keep the score at 13-0 with 5:22 left in the third period.

Hillsboro got the break it needed when Matt Brown picked up a Collegiate fumble and raced from midfield to the Spartan 5-yard line. Three plays later, Boese scored up the middle from two yards out and David Funk’s kick made it 13-7 with 6:29 left in the game.

After the Trojan defense finally stopped the Spartans and forced a punt, the Trojans had the ball at their own 31-yard line with 2:09 left. The Trojans drove to the Spartan 35 with 57 seconds left to play, but Boese’s pass to the right sideline went directly into the arms of Murray to seal the Spartan win.

With the loss, Hillsboro drops to 3-2 for the year and 2-1 in Central Division MCAA play.

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