• Last modified 2096 days ago (Oct. 24, 2013)


Moundridge stages comeback in fourth quarter

News editor

The Hillsboro High School Trojans football team came from behind by two touchdowns to take a lead against the Moundridge Wildcats Friday, but the Wildcats made their own comeback and Hillsboro lost 40-35.

Moundridge took more than six minutes on its opening drive, scoring a touchdown without throwing a single pass to take a 7-0 lead. Hillsboro responded with a three-play touchdown drive that took less than a minute with Jesse Brown throwing a 34-yard touchdown pass to a wide open Jordan Faul, and the game was tied at 7.

Moundridge scored another touchdown on its next drive on a pass from Garrett Higgins to Colby Badman on fourth-and-goal from the 8-yard line. Hillsboro punted on its next possession, and Badman ran 54 yards on the Wildcats’ first play, giving Moundridge a 21-7 lead early in the second quarter.

Thirty seconds later, Hillsboro cut the deficit to 21-14 on a 55-yard pass from Brown to Faul. It would be more than 10 minutes before either team scored again.

A Trojans drive started off promising, with Evan Ollenburger catching a ball just barely in bounds on third-and-9, then making another reception for a first down on a screen pass. But on back-to-back plays, a backward pass fell to the ground and the Wildcats nearly recovered it before Preston Nelson fell on the ball, then on third-and-25, a trick play pass was intercepted.

The Hillsboro defense stopped Moundridge, but the Wildcats recovered a muffed punt return. The Wildcats were in good position to score, but Hillsboro forced and recovered a fumble at the Trojans’ own 15-yard line.

Brown converted third-and-1 with a quarterback sneak before completing a 61-yard pass to Justus Hilliard, setting the Trojans up with first-and-goal at the 8.

On first down, Brown scrambled away from the pass rush and completed a short shovel pass that lost 14 yards. The Trojans made up the lost yardage and more when Ollenburger caught a pass and got to the 3-yard line. On third-and-goal, Brown ran a sneak that was good for two yards. Another sneak on fourth down resulted in a fumble, but Cody Delk fell on the ball in the end zone for a touchdown to tie the game at 21 with 47 seconds left in the first half.

After halftime, Hillsboro scored again on a 17-yard pass from Brown to Delk. When the Trojans stopped the Wildcats on fourth-and-4, it looked like Hillsboro had all the momentum. But the Trojans struggled to move the ball on their next possession and punted back to Moundridge, who scored with 2:32 remaining in the third quarter to tie the game again.

Hillsboro responded with another touchdown drive that included a fourth-and-4 middle screen to Ollenburger. Hillsboro scored on third-and-goal at the 2 with a swing pass to Nelson, who got a crucial block from Levi Mendoza. Hillsboro led 35-28.

Twelve seconds later, the Wildcats scored again with a 65-yard touchdown run by Badman, but Hillsboro kept the lead when Badman’s kick missed. Hillsboro’s Leo Sontag was a perfect 5-for-5 on extra points.

A long kickoff return by Hilliard set the Trojans up in Moundridge territory, but a low snap led to a sack of Brown. A pass on third-and-25 was just out of reach of Ollenburger.

The Wildcats drove 68 yards on their next possession, finishing the drive with a reverse to Badman for an 18-yard touchdown. The Trojans stopped the two-point conversion attempt, but Moundridge led 40-35.

Hillsboro’s final possession ended with an interception on a long pass down the sideline, when the receiver didn’t see the ball until it was too late to make a play.

“We (the coaches) made the mistake,” head coach Lance Sawyer said.

He said that was a play the team hadn’t run in practice.

Sawyer said the cold conditions — it had snowed earlier in the day — may have affected Hillsboro’s passing attack more than Moundridge’s running offense, but both teams had miscues.

The loss started the Trojans at 0-1 in district play. They play Friday at Marion then Oct. 31 at home against Halstead.

“We’ve still got a chance,” Sawyer said.



Jesse Brown: 18/29, 293 yards, 4 TDs.

Jordan Faul: 0/2.


Preston Nelson: 4 carries, 8 yards.

J. Brown: 12 carries, 4 yards.


J. Faul: 5 receptions, 106 yards, 2 TDs.

Evan Ollenburger: 6 receptions, 78 yards.

Justus Hilliard: 2 receptions, 73 yards.

Cody Delk: 2 receptions, 26 yards.

P. Nelson: 3 receptions, 10 yards.


J. Hilliard: 4 kick returns, 57 yards.

E. Ollenburger: 2 kick returns, 33 yards.

Jakob Hanschu: 1 kick return, 32 yards; 1 punt return, 9 yards.

Last modified Oct. 24, 2013