Hillsboro scored all four of its touchdowns in the first half, and that was more than enough to hold off Smoky Valley for a 28-14 win Friday at Joel H. Wiens Stadium in Hillsboro.
The Trojans were on track early, taking the opening kickoff and marching 59 yards in 10 plays with Chance Reece barreling into the end zone from 6 yards out for the score. Ben Gardner nailed the extra-point kick for a 7-0 lead with 8:05 left in the quarter.
The Trojans scored their second touchdown on the first play of the second quarter when Smoky Valley punted from its own 10-yard line and Hillsboro?s Caleb Hilliard zig-zagged through traffic then broke free for a 49-yard touchdown return. Gardener?s kick made it 14-0.
The Vikings got on the board on their next possession when quarterback Nick Deterding rambled 52 yards off tackle for a touchdown. The Vikings faked the kick and Deterding threw to Cody Bowers for the 2-point conversion.
The Trojans scored their third touchdown of the half after a series of near-comical giveaways by both squads. The exchanges started when Hillsboro?s Dylan Delk recovered an errant pitchout at the Viking 23. On the next play from scrimmage, Trojan quarterback Luke Moore was intercepted by Deterding, who won the battle for the ball with Ben Bebermeyer on a throw into the end zone.
The Vikings got the ball on the touchback at their own 20. But on the first play, Hilliard intercepted a Deterding pass to give it right back to Hillsboro. A holding penalty on Hilliard?s return gave the Trojans possession at the Viking 31. On Hillsboro?s second play, Reece broke off left tackle for a 30-yard scoring run. Gardner?s kick was perfect and the Trojans led 21-8 with 5:06 left in the half.
After Hillsboro stopped Smoky Valley on three downs, the Vikings punted from their own 25, but the mis-kick resulted in a net gain of 6 yards from the line of scrimmage. From there, Hillsboro scored in four plays, capped by Moore?s 10-yard fade pass to tight end Aaron Klassen to the far side of the field. Garden kicked perfectly once more for a 28-8 lead with 26 seconds left in the half.
Smoky Valley, ignited by the passing of backup quarterback Wayd Thomas, added one last score in the fourth quarter. The senior completed seven of eight pass during an 82-yard, 11-play drive. Deterding capped the drive with a 3-yard scoring pass to Cody Bowers. Hillsboro?s Evan Ollenburger broke up a 2-point pass play to keep the score at 28-14 with 1:03 late in the game.
Hillsboro missed a couple of opportunities to score in the second half, including a blocked field goal attempt by Gardner following a high snap from center. Two other Trojan drives deep in Viking territory ended without points, one on a three-and-out defensive effort by the Vikings and the other when Moore was intercepted on a pass that deflected off a Trojan receiver.
With its second win in a row, Hillsboro is back to .500 for the season at 3-3 and in the North Division of the CKL league at 2-2. Smoky dropped to 1-5 for the year and 1-3 in the North Division.