Trojans charge past Wabaunsee
Hillsboro overcomes penalties, turnovers to down Chargers, 32-6
Trojan football coach Devin Metzinger is an educator, but auto mechanics probably aren’t at the top of his list.
That could make the dilemma of figuring out how to keep his team’s engine from cutting out for 48 minutes more challenging, yet.
For the second week in a row, the Trojans started sputtering after a quick start.
Luckily, it was against an opponent on a chilly, windy Friday night in Hillsboro that just hasn’t been able to put much of anything together, the winless Wabaunsee Chargers.
Nonetheless, despite three turnovers and a slew of penalties, Hillsboro was able to bury the Chargers the second half to cruise to a fourth consecutive win, 32-6.
The victory lifts Hillsboro to 4-1 on the season.
“It wasn’t a pretty win by any means, we felt like we made a lot of mistakes and we’ve got to clean those up,” Metzinger said. “A win’s a win, but of course we’d like to get it in a little better condition and in a bit better shape, but we got it anyway.”
Rarely will 430 total yards offense appear so ugly with the Trojans putting up 242 on the ground and 188 through the air.
After Jorge Hanschu took off up the middle for the first of two first-half scores, a 56-yard run nearly 1:30 into the contest, the Trojan offense either had drives stall or turned the ball over on their next three drives.
With 5:07 left in the first half, back-to-back completions by Hanschu to Darian Ratzlaff for 41 yards had the Trojans knocking on the door at the Charger 7.
One play later, Hanschu stretched Hillsboro’s lead to 14-0 after a Brooks Gardner PAT, taking it in from the 7.
Hanschu finished with a game-high 145 yards rushing and a trio of touchdowns running and one through the air.
The Chargers’ best and only scoring drive came with time winding down in the first half, the only time they were in Hillsboro territory with the Trojan defense allowing only a pair of plays over 10 yards.
Outside that, the Trojan defense kept Wabaunsee pinned in its own territory while yielding a modest 164 total yards with only 68 coming from 35 carries.
Both plays came on the same drive, capped by freshman quarterback Cade Oliver hitting Connor Brown for a 24-yard touchdown with 31 seconds left.
The two-point conversion failed and Hillsboro went into the break with a 14-6 advantage.
The Trojans wasted little time pushing the lead back to double digits barely 30 seconds into the second half with Hanschu going deep for Caleb Potucek on a 54-yard touchdown.
Potucek ended the night with 2 catches for 65 yards while Ratzlaff hauled in 6 for a game-high 92.
Hillsboro still wasn’t quite on track entirely, going 2-for-5 on PAT attempts, and 0-3 the second half, leaving the score 20-6.
Hanschu made it a 20-point lead with 4:35 left in the third quarter, scoring on another 7-yard keeper for the 26-6 lead.
After that and until there was only 6:26 left in the game, the Trojans dealt with more sputtering.
Quiet for much of the contest offensively, Gardner finally got on the board for the Trojans’ final points, sweeping around the left side for a 12-yard touchdown and finishing with 95 yards rushing.
“We didn’t really make any big adjustments at halftime,” Metzinger said. “Our main focus was keeping our composure and coming out playing like ourselves.
“We did have a few communication issues on offense, but once we got the same page, the guys took care of business.”