Hillsboro upsets state-ranked Hesston, 16-10

HHSfbDefOllenburger941WEB  HHSfbHessMoore956WEB  If overcoming adversity is the hallmark of maturity, the Hillsboro football team may have come of age Friday night, overcoming a 10-0 second quarter deficit and multiple setbacks to upset Class 4A state-ranked Hesston 16-10 at Joel H. Wiens Stadium.

Hesston started the game with a bang, taking the opening kickoff and cruising 64 yards for a score on five consecutive carries by the Swathers? standout running back Kyle Perry. He scored the touchdown on a 16-yard run around the left end with 9:52 to play in the opening quarter.

After Hillsboro went three-and-out on its first possession, it appeared the Trojans might be in for a long night. But Hillsboro?s defense stiffened and kept Hesston at bay until Swather quarterback Trevor Pauls connected on a wide open pass to Christopher Medlin for a 43-yard gain and a first down at the Trojan 25-yard line.

But the Trojans refused to break, finally stopping Hesston at the 11-yard line, where kicker Eyan Roth booted a 28-yard field goal on the first play of the second quarter for a 10-0 lead.

Still, the Trojans were undeterred. Starting at their own 22-yard line, they marched the length of the field, mixing the run and the pass, before quarterback Luke Moore, who contributed a 21-yard run along the way, snuck into the end zone from two yards out with 6:40 left in the half. Jesse Brown kicked the extra-point and the Trojans were within three at 10-7.

Hillsboro had some good fortune along the way. When Brown kicked off after the score, he miss-hit the ball for a short kick. But Trojan Devin Dick recovered the football to give Hillsboro possession at the Swather 35. Three plays later, Moore threw a long strike to Aaron Klassen, who caught the ball in stride and raced for a 33-yard score. Brown?s PAT kick failed, but Hillsboro led 13-10 with 5:42 left in the half.

Moore stopped Hesston next?s possession when he recovered a Perry fumble at the Trojan 48-yard line. Hillsboro drove to the Hesston 29 before the drive stalled on downs with 1:53 left in the half.

On Hesston’s first play, Hillsboro?s Evan Ollenburger stepped in front of a Pauls pass for the interception, giving Hillsboro the ball at the Hesston 15 with 1:42 left. On second and goal at the 2-yard line, Hillsboro was called for an illegal formation, moving the ball back to the 7-yard line. Moore then threw to Ollenburger for an apparent touchdown, but offsetting penalties nullified the score with 34.8 seconds left in the half.

A false-start penalty on the next play pushed the ball back to the 12, then Moore was sacked at the 20 on the next snap. On fourth down, Brown missed a 37-yard field goal attempt with 11.9 to go. Hesston connected for a 34-yard pass with 1.6 seconds left, but Shaq Thiessen secured the 13-10 lead at halftime with an interception as time ran out.

The two teams traded a couple of turnovers to start the second half, but when Hesston recovered a Trojan fumble at the Swather 37, Perry found his stride again and ran the ball five consecutive plays, scoring an apparent touchdown on his fifth carry from 26 yards out. But the score was nullified by a holding call.

Hesston resumed possession on its 35-yard line, but on the next play, Trojan tackle Brandon Rooker hit Pauls, causing a fumble that Devin Dick scooped up and advanced to the Hesston 35. The Trojans then drove to the 5-yard line in 10 plays, but stalled out there. Brown then nailed a 22-yard field goal for the 16-10 lead with 2:13 left in the third quarter.

Brown missed a 27-yard field-goal attempt with 7:20 left that would have given the Trojans some breathing room, but the defense made the six-point lead hold up by stopping Hesston?s next two possessions down the stretch.

During the game, Hesston threw two interceptions and lost four fumbles, while Hillsboro suffered one interception and lost one fumble.

Offensively, the Trojans actually outrushed the Swathers, 155 yards to 123, although Perry rolled up 142 yards personally. Tyler Proffitt was Hillsboro?s leading rusher with 90 yards on 31 carries. Moore added 60 yards on 19 carries, and threw for 101 yards on 9-for-21 passing. Klassen and Thiessen each caught three passes and Christian Ratzlaff two.

The non-league win boosts Hillsboro?s season record to 2-2 for the season; Hesston dropped to 3-1.

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