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Hillsboro throttles Lyons

News editor

The Hillsboro Trojans stopped a four-game losing streak Friday by dominating both sides of the ball in a 37-6 thrashing of Lyons at Reimer Field.

The Trojans fed off their defense, which had five interceptions, one returned for a touchdown, forced a safety, and gave the offense good field position throughout the game.

“I thought we played confident, we came out with a chip on our shoulder that we needed to prove something, and we did,” head coach Lance Sawyer said.

Lyons threatened early in the first quarter, but Trojans defender David Dick broke up a third-down endzone pass, and Hillsboro took over on its own 33-yard-line.

Five plays later, quarterback Justus Hilliard ran 34 yards for a touchdown, Jeffrey Jorgenson kicked the extra point for a 7-0 lead with four minutes, 10 seconds left in the quarter.

Punter Carson Herbel pinned the Lions deep in their own territory with a kick that was downed at the 5-yard line, and an errant snap on second down led to a safety and a 9-0 Trojans lead.

Hillsboro returned the ensuing kickoff to the Lions 38. It took only two plays for Hilliard to tally his second touchdown on a 25-yard run, and the point after made the score 16-0 with 8:19 left before the half.

One minute later, the score was 23-0. On third-and-10 at his own 20, Lyons quarterback Tyler Edwards was picked off by Jakob Hanschu, who ran 40 yards for a touchdown.

The next Lions drive lasted nearly seven minutes, taking 14 plays to move from their 20-yard line to the Hillsboro 22. The defense came through again, with Hilliard intercepting a fourth-down pass at the 3.

Hilliard scored two more touchdowns in the third quarter on runs of 2 and 14 yards, and Lyons tacked on a meaningless touchdown in the fourth for the 37-6 final.

Players were quick to point out the work of assistant coach Scott O’Hare as a factor in the strong defensive performance.

“We just played hard and we played downhill football the whole game,” linebacker Levi Mendoza said. “Coach O’Hare had a lot to do with it, he’s a great defensive coordinator, and with his help and us coming together as a team, we played pretty good.”

“The coaches did a really good job, especially our defensive coach, of drilling in our heads that we need to stay up, do our jobs, and trust our teammates to do their jobs,” Hilliard added.

Lineman Cody Craney said the defense had a size advantage over the Lions that helped.

“We were faster and taller than they were, so we were able to stand them up, look over and see if it was a run or a pass, and then capitalize on it,” Craney said.

Sawyer said that while Hilliard pulled down three interceptions, the defensive game ball went to someone else.

“It’s kind of hard not to give it to a guy who made three picks,” Sawyer said. “Jesse Meier was all over the field. He had 16 tackles for the night. He has a great nose for the ball and is a pretty sure tackler.”

Hillsboro plays its final regular season road game Friday at Hesston.

Last modified Oct. 15, 2014

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