Part of what has made the Hillsboro High School football team dominant this season has been a change in expectations.
On Friday, the Trojans expected to shut out Moundridge. Senior lineman Dylan Jirak said any Moundridge points on the board were unacceptable.
With Hillsboro up 55-0, Moundridge picked up two first downs on a drive in the fourth quarter and was threatening well inside Hillsboro territory. Although Shaq and Tyrell Thiessen were out of the game, key linemen Nathan Unruh and Dylan Jirak remained in the contest. The Trojans stuffed three consecutive outside runs to create a fourth-and-6. On the final play of the drive, the Hillsboro defense forced an incompletion and sealed the shutout and the 55-0 victory.
“We were not going to let them score,” Jirak said.
Head coach Lance Sawyer said he addressed a possible shutout at halftime and the team responded with a maximum effort to get its third-consecutive shutout victory.
“We came out with the right attitude,” Sawyer said.
That’s how he described the effort from the opening kickoff. The Trojans did not take Moundridge lightly and were intent on imposing their will physically on a wet field.
However, the Trojans also played smart. For the first game this season, the Trojans did not have a turnover in the contest. With four takeaways, Hillsboro increased their turnover margin to plus nine for the season.
It was one of the few games where the offense and defense played well together. Special teams also picked up the Trojans for an all-around dominant performance.
Tyrell Thiessen opened the game with a 40-yard touchdown reception on a screen. Two possessions later Shaq Thiessen ran in a sweep eluding one tackler then cutting back all the way to the other side of the field for a 30-yard touchdown sprint. Both Thiessen’s have scored a touchdown in every game this season.
Jesse Brown scored on a 40-yard punt return early in the second quarter. Tyrell Thiessen ran in for a 20-yard score on a sweep play. Before the end of the half, Josh Wiebe caught a slant from Tyler Proffitt and dragged a Moundridge defender for a 9-yard touchdown. The Trojans were up 36-0 at half.
Hillsboro forced one fumble in the half, recovered by Cody Delk. Lucas Sinclair intercepted a pass with the Moundridge quarterback falling down on the play.
Proffitt ran up the middle for a 1-yard touchdown to start the third quarter. After a short kick-off return Wiebe stripped the ball from the Moundridge ball carrier and the Trojans recovered the fumble. Taking over for Proffitt at quarterback, Lucas Sinclair dove two yards into the end zone for the touchdown.
The Trojans forced another fumble and Nathan Unruh recovered. In at running back, Preston Nelson scored a touchdown on a 3-yard run.
Proffitt went 10-for-14 passing with 176 yards. Tyrell Thiessen was Hillsboro’s leading rusher with 68 yards on the ground. Evan Ollenburger had the most receiving yards with 51.