The team may be called the Swathers, but it was a human buzzsaw named Ryan Schadler who cut through the Hillsboro defense for 420 rushing yards and six touchdowns in Hesston?s 56-28 win over Hillsboro Friday at Joel H. Wiens Stadium.
The loss dropped the Trojans to 2-2 for the season while Hesston remained undefeated at 4-0.
The Swathers rolled up just under 700 yards total offense for the night, but the Trojans moved the ball impressively, too, finishing with 450 yards?on 25 fewer plays.
But three scoreless ventures into the red zone cost Hillsboro a more respect?able margin at the end of the game?and perhaps even a victory, given the potential swing of momentum.
?It was a game of missed opportunities, and when you play a team like Hesston and you don?t score three times inside the 10, that?s what happens. You get beat at home by 28,? coach Lance Sawyer said.
The first quarter set the tone for the evening. The Trojans took the opening kickoff and drove to the Swather 10-yard line in 10 plays. But the drive ended when Hesston blocked Jesse Brown?s field-goal attempt with the ball on the 8-yard line.
After Hillsboro stopped Hesston on a fourth-and-3 at the Trojan 43-yard line, Hillsboro went three-and-out. But Cody Delk?s punt pinned the Swathers at their own 1-yard line.
On the next play, Schadler broke off left tackle and raced 99 yards for Hesston?s first score with 4:25 left in the quarter.
Despite the sock in the gut, the Trojans came right back?as they did all night?marching from their 35-yard line to the Swather 14 in eight plays. From there, Brown connected with Evan Ollenburger for the touchdown on a pass along the Hesston sideline.
With the score tied at 7, Hesston moved from its 20-yard line to the Trojan 47 on four Schadler runs, then quarterback Wyatt McKin?ney ran it in from there for a 14-7 lead with less than a minute left in the period.
Schadler went on to add scoring runs of 88, 11, 46, 73, 13 yards?and took a pass in the flat for a 34-yard score in the second quarter.
?Turns out Schadler?s pretty good,? Sawyer said with a smile. ?He?s got to be one of the best. But we?ve got to be able to make tackles, and we had the opportunities.?
Hillsboro?s three other scores came on a 9-yard run by Brown in the second quarter, a 54-yard touchdown strike from Brown to Evan Ollenburger in the third quarter, and swing pass from Jakob Hanschu that Preston Nelson turned into a 61-yard TD in the fourth quarter.
Brown finished with 17 completions in 32 attempts for 295 yards and two touchdowns.
For the first time this season, Hillsboro broke the 100-yard barrier on the ground, finishing with 104 on 26 carries. Brown ran for 80 of those yards on 18 carries.
?We keep on getting better,? Sawyer said. ?We ran the ball extremely well tonight, much better than we have the past three weeks.
?Our defense is going to get better,? he added. ?We?ve got a lot of determined kids. We?re not going to give up.?
Coming?The road doesn?t get much easier this week as the Trojans head to Lindsborg Friday to face another undefeated team in Smoky Valley (4-0).
The only common opponent so far this season has been Sterling. The Vikings prevailed 42-12 in the season opener, and Hillsboro followed suit in Week 2, 41-30.