HHS rolls to 54-20 football win over Sterling

Question marks turned into exclamation points as the Hillsboro High School football team rolled to 54-20 domination of Sterling in the season opener for both teams Friday at Joel H. Wiens Stadium.

A veteran line anchored the Trojans on both sides of the ball, but it was the play of several untested players at the skill positions that fueled a Trojan attack that simply wouldn?t quit.

Heading that list was Justus Hilliard, a senior starting his first game ever at quarterback after three years at running back. Hilliard finished the game with two touchdowns on the ground, three through the air and one on a 70-yard fumble return on defense.

Hillsboro cashed in the opening possession of the game when Hilliard connected with Jakob Hanschu for a 29-yard scoring pass at the 9:32 mark on the fourth play of a 34-yard drive.

After the Trojans recovered a Sterling fumble 27 seconds later at the Black Bear 27-yard line, Hilliard scored on a 1-yard sneak with 7:57 left in the first quarter.

Sterling countered with a touchdown at the 9:18 mark of the second quarter, capping a 75-yard drive on a 3-yard run by quarterback Kyler Comley. A 2-point pass to 6-foot-6 Jordan Proffitt made it 14-8 with 9:18 left in the half.

Unfazed, the Trojans came back with a 63-yard drive with David Dick catching a 13-yard touchdown pass from Hilliard at the 5:35 mark. Newcomer Jeffery Jorgenson kicked his third PAT of the night for a 21-7 Trojan lead.

Sterling made it interesting one last time when the Black Bears scored on a 2-yard run by Proffitt with 3:04 left in the half. The 76-yard drive was highlighted by a 46-yard pass from Comley to Lucas Briar and a 26-yard pass to Cody Salazar that set up the touchdown.

But with 2:57 left in the half, the Trojans drove 57 yards in nine plays with Hilliard throwing a 12-yard strike to Hanschu with 3.1 second left. Jorgenson?s kick made it 28-14 at halftime.

An impressive first half turned into a dominant second half as the Trojans built a 47-14 lead with 2:21 left in the game before Hilliard snapped up a Black Bear fumble and raced 65 yards for the Trojans? eighth touchdown of the night.

Prior to that score, Hilliard ran in a 14-yard touchdown with 2:01 left in the third quarter, then cashed in an interception by Dick eight plays later on a 22-yard run with 9:07 left in the game. With 3:18 to go, Dusten Plenert ran in from 2 yards out.

Immediately after Hilliard?s long fumble return, Sterling scored its final points of the night on a 74-yard kickoff return by Joel White, but it was far too little, far too late for Black Bear fans.

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