Weather shortens HHS football win versus Lyons

Turns out the only thing that could stop the Hillsboro football team in its season opener at Lyons was the threat of lightning.

The Trojans built a 19-0 lead after one quarter and went into halftime with a 32-0 cushion.

Officials cleared the stadium at halftime as lightning was approaching from the west. The second half of the game eventually was canceled around 9:30 p.m.

“I think the decision was made because it looked like we wouldn’t be able to get back onto the football field until almost midnight,” coach Devin Metzinger said.

“This becomes a player-safety thing, given the wet grass field getting all that water, and getting so late, with kids being up since 6 or 7 o’clock.

“With the holiday weekend, it was going to make it pretty tough to try to get back on Saturday with teams and officials,” he added.

The truth is, this contest was essentially over not long after it began. The Trojans took control almost immediately. After Hills­boro returned the opening kickoff to its 36-yard line, junior Brooks Gardner ran the remaining 64 yards on the first play from scrimmage for the first score.

Wes Shaw’s kick was good for a 7-0 lead 25 seconds into the game.

The Lions suffered a very different outcome on their first possession. A bad snap from center resulted in a fumble recovery by Hills­boro’s Lane Flaming, giving the Trojans possession at the Lyons 5-yard line.

Follow­ing a penalty back to the 10, quarterback Kaden Kleiner broke off left tackle for a seven-yard score three plays later at the 10:44 mark. Shaw missed the PAT for a 13-0 Trojan lead.

Lyons managed to drive from its own 33-yard line to midfield in eight plays before the Trojans forced another punt.

Starting their third possession at their own 28-yard line, the Trojans headed for the end zone. Wide receiver Jacob Funk grabbed a pass from Kleiner and zig-zagged his way to the Lyons 41.

Four plays later, the Trojans scored when Funk caught a Kleiner pass at the goal line. Kleiner’s 2-point pass attempt fell incomplete keeping the score at 19-0.

Lyons punted again after seven plays, but Darian Ratzlaff fumbled the catch, and the ball was recovered by the Lions’ at their 41-yard line. Seven plays later the Lyons were forced to punt as the first quarter ended.

This time the Trojans drove 68 yards in eight plays, scoring on a three-yard run by Caleb Potucek at the 9:18 mark. Shaw’s kick made it 26-0.

After the Lions burned about 6:30 during a 12-play possession, they eventually were forced to punt again. The Trojans downed the rolling kick at their own 5-yard line with 2:54 left in the half.

Undeterred, the Trojans scored once more, this time on a 95-yard, six-play drive capped by 25-yard Kleiner-to-Funk pass with 1:20 left in the half. Shaw missed the PAT for the 32-0 halftime score, which proved to be the final score.

“We talked all week that we wanted to finish drives and make sure weren;t stopping ourselves,” Metzinger said. “We did that with the exception of the one turnover on special teams. Every time we got the ball in our hands, we finished the drive.”

Kleiner finished with 153 passing yards on 8-for-9 passing, and added 67 yards on the ground.

“I was impressed with Kaden’s job at quarterback,” Metzinger said. “He did a really good job in the running game and made some good reads.

“On top of that, our offensive line—we threw a lot at them last week, and they took it all in stride and played a really good game across the board.”

Metzinger also was pleased by the sound play of his defense.

“We didn’t give up any big plays, and that’s always one of our goals,” he said. “Any time they got the ball or got a first down, we were making them drive and snap that ball 10-12 times if they were going to get near the end zone.”

Coming—Hillsboro (1-0) will host Kingman (0-1) Friday with a 7 p.m. kickoff at Joel Wiens Stadium.