For the second week in a row, the Hillsboro football team took on an undefeated Central Kansas League foe, and for the second time the Trojans endured a licking.
A physically stronger and deeper Smoky Valley squad put away the Trojans by a 48-12 margin in a game that slipped into continuous-clock mode for all but three minutes of the second half.
The game was competitive at the start. Hillsboro took the opening kickoff and drove from its own 24-yard line to the Smoky Valley 17. But the drive ended there when the Vikings stuffed running back Justus Hilliard for a six-yard loss on fourth-and-2.
The Trojan defense forced a Viking punt in five plays, but the kick by Jarod DeMott pinned Hillsboro at its own 2-yard line. Three plays later Smoky Valley recovered a fumble by Trojan quarterback Jesse Brown at the Trojan 21.
The Vikings were in the end zone in two plays?but the touchdown was nullified by a penalty. The Trojans returned the favor with a face-mask penalty that gave Smoky Valley the ball at the 5. Matt Guerrero ran in from there to give the home team a 7-0 lead at the 4:33 mark.
After a three-and-out, a poor Trojan punt into the wind gave the Vikings the ball at the Hillsboro 37-yard line. After one running play, quarterback Christian Hansen threw to Alec Schneider in the end zone for a 14-0 lead with 2:44 left.
Hillsboro responded with its biggest moment of glory. From the Trojan 20, Brown connected with Evan Ollen?burger for a 68-yard pass play to the Smoky Valley 12.
From there, Brown threw to Hilliard for the score. Brown?s kick sailed left, but Hillsboro was on the board at 14-6.
The game began to slip away after that, thanks in part to unfortunate mistakes by the Trojans and the effective running of the Vikings, including touchdowns of 30 yards by DeMott, 45 yards by Hansen and 44 yards by Guerrero that put the Tro?jans in a 34-6 hole by halftime.
When Smoky Valley took the second-half kickoff and marched 57 yards in six plays, capped by a 7-yard touchdown run by Hansen, the game was all but over with 9:06 left in the quarter. The running clock kicked in for the rest of the night.
Both teams managed one more touchdown. Smoky Valley?s came on a 10-yard run by Hansen late in the third quarter, and the Trojans scored midway through the fourth quarter when Brown tried to sweep the right end, then reversed his field and swept the left end for a 59-yard touchdown.
With the win, Smoky Valley improved to 5-0 overall and 3-0 in the North Divi?sion of the CKL. Hillsboro dropped to 2-3 overall and 1-2 in the division.
Coach Lance Sawyer said his team needs to dig deep after back-to-back blowout losses.
?We can go downhill or uphill,? he said. ?I think we have the leadership on the team that we?ll continue to play. We?ve got some good athletes, I think we?ll be able to move the ball,? he said.
Friday?s game at winless Remington (0-5) will be the telling point.
?We?ve got to come back better against Remington,? Sawyer said. ?We can begin district play on a high note by getting off to a win.?