Lyons defeats young Trojans

 Hillsboro?s Jesse Brown makes a touchdown-saving play on Lyons? first play from scrimmage by tipping a pass away from Eddie Landeros near the goal line. Five plays later, Landeros caught a pass in the end zone for the first score of the season. Lyons won, 26-12. If Hillsboro looked like a football team playing its first game of the season with a lot of inexperienced players in new positions, there?s a good reason.

With one returning starter on offense and four on defense, the Trojans struggled to find rhythm in a 26-12 loss to Lyons Friday at Joel H. Wiens Stadium.

?We had some guys who weren?t prepared, it looked like to me,? coach Lance Sawyer said. ?They weren?t ready to play, and that?s on us (coaches). We?ve got to go back to practice and get them better.?

This game was a reversal of last season?s opening blowout of Lyons. This time the Lions took the upper hand early in a game that saw plenty of turnovers, mistakes and penalties from both teams.

 Trojan running back Preston Nelson gets his feet knocked out from under him by a Lyons defender, but not before he picks up 13 yards on a pass from quarterback Jesse Brown and gives Hillsboro a first-and-goal at the Lyons 2-yard line. Brown scored on the next play. Lyons set the tone when they picked off a Jesse Brown pass less than a minute and a half into the contest and set up shop at the Trojan 36-yard line. Four plays later on a fourth-and-12, Lyons quarterback Ryan McClure connected with a wide open Eddie Landeros near the end zone for a 40-yard score.

After a three-and-out by Hillsboro, Lyons started its next possession at the Trojan 45-yard line. Four players later, the Lions were in the end zone again, this time on a 34-yard pass from McClure to Alan Pina along the Lions sideline. Lyons botched the extra point, but led 13-0 with 6:40 left in the first quarter.

After Lyons? kicker Jordan Cedeno booted a 21-yard field goal with 10:18 left in the half to make it 16-0, Hillsboro finally scored when Brown ran in from two yards out and 3:45 left in the half. The touchdown was set up when the Lyons? substitute punter mishandled a bad snap and Hillsboro took over at the Lyons 15-yard line.

Trailing 16-6, Hillsboro seemed to be gathering momentum when Jacob Buckman picked off another Brown pass along the Lyons sideline and returned it 60 yards for a touchdown with 1:36 left in the first half. Cedeno?s kick made it 23-6 at halftime.

Lyons went to work in the third quarter, taking the second-half kickoff from its 20-yard line and marching to the Trojan 5-yard line before settling for a 23-yard field goal by Cedeno that boosted the lead to 26-6 with 5:39 left in the quarter.

Early in the fourth quarter, Hillsboro caught a break when McClure intercepted a Trojan pass and returned the ball 81 yards for an apparent score. But an illegal-substitution penalty against Lyons gave the ball back to Hillsboro at its 36-yard line.

Seven plays later, backup quarterback Jakob Hanschu found Jordan Faul in the end zone for a 13-yard touchdown, but the extra-point kick by Brown was blocked.

For all the bumps in the road, Hillsboro was still in the game at 26-12 with 8:36 to play. But the Trojans couldn?t muster enough offense down the stretch to make a serious charge.

Lyons finished with 285 yards total offense, including 191 yards through the air on 10-for-19 passing by McClure. Hillsboro finished with 188 yards total offense?163 through the air but only 25 on the ground on 19 carries.

Brown completed 11 of 23 passes while Hanschu connected seven times on 15 attempts. Hanschu led the Hillsboro ground game with 22 yards on four carries.

?Our offense was awful,? Sawyer said. ?We need to sharpen a lot of things up there. If we could have moved the ball tonight, we would have been all right.

?I thought our defense, after the first two possessions, they actually stepped up and played,? he added.

One highlight was the play of Faul, who sat out last season with an injury. In addition to his touchdown reception, he picked off two passes on defense.

?We knew Jordan would step up and play this year pretty well,? Sawyer said. ?He?s an athletic kid, he?s taken on some leadership roles. We just need more (like him).?

Coming?Hillsboro will take its 0-1 record to Sterling Friday to play the Black Bears, who lost their opener to Smoky Valley, 42-12.

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