Hillsboro trounces Lions
Trojans roll up 596 yards in 66-22 thrashing of Bluestem
Heading into the final week of the regular season, 32 football teams in Class 1A are gearing up for postseason play.
At the same time, there are also a good many that can’t wait for the season to be over.
That’s a yearly occurrence for the Trojans’ opponent Friday night, the hosting Leon-Bluestem Lions, who annually fall on hard times, much less win.
One week after giving up 67 points in a 61-point route by second-ranked Olpe, the Lions got 66 more dropped on them in a 44-point beat down.
The win lifts Hillsboro to 6-1 on the year and 2-0 in district play.
A running clock in the second half allowed Trojan coach Devin Metzinger to utilize his underclassmen aiding in pounding out a season-high 596 yards with the ground attack accounting for 456 of them.
In most cases when one player alone nearly outdoes the opponent’s total offensive output, it results in a loss.
Such was the case with Brooks Gardner.
With a career-high 227 yards rushing and 3 touchdowns including an 80-yarder, the physical Gardner finished just 15 yards shy of single-handedly outdoing Bluestem’s 241 total.
Throw in two more touchdowns by Jorge Hanschu passing for 140 yards while getting three more on the ground, the Lions were mauled again.
It didn’t take long for the game to malfunction on Bluestem with Hillsboro erupting for 44 unanswered points in the opening 20 minutes of the contest.
Hanschu got two of his three touchdowns rushing in the first quarter, opening an early 14-0 lead before Gardner struck.
Darian Ratzlaff had a game-high 120 yards receiving from six catches, one of his two touchdowns stretching the lead to 26-0 by the first quarter’s end.
Gardner and Hanschu added two more scores before Gardner took off for an 80-yard run and a 44-0 lead.
Bluestem finally got on the board late in the first half, but it came courtesy of a defensive touchdown with Hunter Clift recovering a fumble and taking it 70 yards — one of two Trojan turnovers.
The fumble mattered little by halftime with the Lions still in a giant 44-6 jam.
The biggest threat Bluestem posed started the second half with a running clock and Clift scoring on a 54-yard run to pull to within 44-14.
Hillsboro answered right away with Hanschu airing it out for Ratzlaff on a 45-yard completion to spark 22 more unanswered points.
Freshman Jamari Harris got in on the destruction, scoring twice on runs of 15 and 29 yards to finish with five carries for a season-high 97 yards.
Bluestem’s final touchdown came in garbage time with Tony Gonzalez scoring on a 33-yard run.
The district title will be on the line Friday in the regular season finale against visiting Olpe.