Hillsboro looked like gangbusters at the start, but as the game wore on, turnovers and penalties drained the Trojans’ hope for a second straight win with a 20-6 loss to the Kingman Eagles at Joel Wiens Stadium.
After Kingman’s wind-aided kickoff rolled into the end zone, the Trojans set up camp at their 20-yard line. Eighty yards and 3:18 later, quarterback Kaden Kleiner ran off left tackle for an 11-yard touchdown. Wes Shaw missed the extra-point kick. but Hillsboro led, 6-0.
“That’s what we intended for the whole game, obviously,” coach Devin Metzinger said. “We talked a lot about finishing drives, and I felt that first drive we overcame a few things and kept going. Then, one mistake led to another and it just snowballed from there.”
Hillsboro maintained its lead until early in the second quarter, when Eagles’ quarterback Riley Krehbiel capped a 65-yard, 10-play drive with a 4-yard keeper into the end zone with 10:01 left in the first half. Luis Franco kicked the extra point for a 7-6 lead.
Hillsboro started its first drive of the second quarter on its own 14-yard line. But Kleiner fumbled on the first snap and the ball was recovered by the Eagles’ Seth Siemens at the Trojan 25.
Two plays later, Krehbiel broke off right tackle and dashed 20 yards untouched into the end zone. Franco’s kick boosted Kingman’s lead to 14-6 with 9:02 left in the half.
Kingman recovered its pooch kickoff at the Trojan 33-yard line, but Hillsboro’s defense prevented further damage in the first half.
The Trojans remained within a touchdown of tying the game until early in the fourth quarter. A Shaw punt gave Kingman the ball at the Eagles’ 48-yard line. The visitors appeared to have run out of downs on fourth-and-7 at the Hillsboro 49, but Kingman’s Christopher Ontiveros faked a punt and ran for 20 yards for an Eagle first down at the 29.
From there, Kingman’s running game simply overpowered a worn-out Trojan defense until William Milford crossed the goal line from seven yards out with 3:50 to play. Franco missed the extra point, but the outcome was determined.
“We’ve got to grow up and figure out how to handle adversity, and be able to make a mistake, learn from it and move on,” Metzinger said, “Instead, we let it snowball tonight, and it just caused problems for us.”
Metzinger said his team’s two-quarter win versus Lyons a week earlier may have had a negative effect versus Kingman.
“This was our first full game,” he said. “We have some of that first-game fatigue still happening. You could really see it start to show in the third and fourth quarter.”
The loss evened Hillsboro’s record at 1-1, and improved Kingman’s to 1-1.
Coming—The Trojans will travel to Hoisington (1-1) next Friday to take on the Cardinals, who defeated Kingman 7-3 in their season opener a week ago, but lost to Wichita Collegiate on Friday, 35-20.