Jacob Yoder’s one-yard dive into the end zone on fourth down gave the alumni from Hillsboro an 18-12 overtime win over their counterparts from Marion in the first post-graduate game in the history of the two intra-county rivals Friday at Joel Wiens Stadium.
Hillsboro seemed to be in control of the game after Yoder scored his first dramatic touchdown of the night on a 6-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Spencer Brown with eight seconds left in the first half, giving the Trojans a 12-6 lead at intermission.
Neither team found much success on offense in the second half — until the very end. Marion took what appeared to be its last possession of the game at its own 42-yard line with 1:40 left in regulation.
Two scrambles by Craft went nowhere, leaving the Warriors with a third-and-10. But Marion running back Adam Janzen water-bugged his way through the line of scrimmage, then broke away for a 42-yard touchdown scamper with only 17 seconds remaining in regulation. Craft’s extra-point pass was broken up by Hillsboro’s Michael Suderman, keeping the score at 12-12 and setting the stage for an overtime showdown.
Under the overtime rules established by the game organizers, each team would get the chance to score in four plays from 10 yards out. Hillsboro won the toss and elected to give Marion first possession. The Warriors’ first play from scrimmage resulted on a 6-yard loss. Two incomplete passes and 5-yard run by Janzen ended their possession at the 11-yard line.
On the first play of its turn, Hillsboro gained no yards. But on second down Yoder caught a pass from Brown for seven yards, then ran the ball to the 1-yard line on the next play, setting up his final touchdown leap for the win.
Marion drew first blood in the game when Dakin Ledford scored on a 24-yard pass from Warrior player-coach Shaun Craft with 1:35 left in the first quarter. The score culminated a 10-play, 63-yard Warrior drive that consumed just over 7 minutes.
Hillsboro tied the game on its next possession — a 19-play, 80-yard drive that consumed 9:19 before Lucas Hamm crossed the goal line from one yard out with 2:16 left to play in the first half.
This first alumni matchup involved about 72 players between the two schools and drew an estimated 300 to 400 fans.
Following the game, Alumni Football USA, the game organizer, named Adam Janzen (Class of 2015) as the MVP on offense for Marion and Brendan Kraus (Class of 1995) the Warriors’ MVP on defense.
For the Trojans, Spencer Brown (Class of 2008) was named MVP on offense and Dylan Delk (Class of 2011) the MVP on defense.
Player-coach Shaun Craft (Class of 1998) received the leadership award for Marion and Jacob Yoder (Class of 2008) received the award for Hillsboro.
Doug Dick (Class of 1978), who taught at Marion prior to his current teaching assignment at Hillsboro, received the oldest player award. Dick’s son, Daniel (Class of 2010), played for Hillsboro as well. Also playing as father-and-son teammates were David Suderman (Class of 1981) and Michael Suderman (Class of 2007