A Trojan victory was guaranteed Friday night as Hillsboro faced off against Southeast of Saline in the second week of district play. Unfor?tunately for Hillsboro, it was the purple-clad Trojans from Southeast who prevailed on their home field, 49-7.
As has been Hillsboro?s modus operandi too often this season, the youngsters gave up two touchdowns in the early going and couldn?t dig themselves out of the hole. Southeast scored on the second play of the game when Ben Murray broke off right tackle for a 45-yard scamper a mere 35 seconds into the contest.
Down 6-0, Hillsboro lost the football seven plays into its first drive when quarterback Kaden Kleiner fumbled a snap from center. South?east recovered the ball at its own 45-yard line. Seven plays later, Kody Berry caught a 14-yard scoring pass from Murray at the 5:37 mark. Jess Koehn?s two-point conversion run bumped the lead to 14-0.
Hillsboro kept the margin there until Koehn scored on a 4-yard run, then kicked the extra point for a 21-0 Southeast lead with 7:18 left in the first half. The home team added a fourth touchdown with 1:36 left, and nearly scored again after Kannen Haist intercepted a Kleiner pass with 1:14 on the clock. Southeast drove to the Hillsboro 8-yard line before an intentional grounding penalty stifled the opportunity — but Southeast still led 28-0 at intermission.
Southeast got another boost it didn?t need when Kleiner fumbled the second-half kickoff and SES recovered the ball. Four plays later, Murray was in the end zone again to cap a brief 35-yard drive. The kick made it 35-0 with 10:17 left in the third quarter.
When Hillsboro went three-and-out, Koehn returned Carson Herbel?s punt for Southeast?s sixth touchdown of the game with 8:23 left in the period.
The continuous clock didn?t kick in until after Bryce Banks added a seventh TD on an 18-yard run that resulted in a 49-0 lead with 5:42 left in the third period.
Hillsboro scored its lone touchdown of the night after stopping a Southeast fourth-and-one play at the home team?s 22-yard line as the third quarter ended. Jorge Hanschu then swept the right end and reached the end zone on the first play of the fourth quarter. Jeff Jorgen?son added the extra point for the final margin.
The loss dropped Hills?boro?s record to 0-8 for the season and 0-2 in district play while Southeast improved to 7-1 and 2-0. Hillsboro will complete its season next Thursday at Council Grove (5-3), which lost 27-0 to Hesston. South?east and Hesston will square off next week to determine the district champion.