Hillsboro High School head football coach Max Heinrichs worried, before the game Friday, about his football team not being focused for its homecoming game.
“You always feel lucky to win homecoming game because of distractions,” Heinrichs said. “You almost spot the other team 10 points.”
However, the Trojans were brimming with confidence from their 16-10 win over Hesston the week prior.
“That win was huge for us,” senior lineman Brandon Rooker said.
For the first drive of the game Friday, the Trojans marched down the field in less than a minute, aided by a 17-yard pass to Aaron Klassen that was followed by a 15-yard facemask penalty.
Quarterback and newly anointed homecoming king Luke Moore jogged into the end zone, 12 yards untouched for the first score. Hillsboro would maintain that momentum and win, 35-3.
The Trojan line dominated on both sides of the ball. The Trojans put together 297 yards on the ground, including all five touchdowns. Hillsboro’s top two runners, Moore and Tyler Proffitt, each averaged more than 8 yards a carry.
Moore scored his three rushing touchdowns in the first half. He ran for an 11-yard run later in the first quarter and sneaked in for a 1-yard goal-line carry in the second quarter. He compiled 110 yards rushing for the game.
“It’s fun blocking for Luke,” Rooker said.
Rooker, David Nelson, and Aaron Slater have been blocking for Moore since middle school. Rooker said they know Moore can break any run for a big play.
Moore also completed 10 passes for 115 yards. Klassen was his top target with 79 yards receiving. Wide out Evan Ollenburger was second on the team with 32 yards receiving.
The Trojans passing stats could have been gaudier if two touchdown passes had not been called back for penalties. Ollenburger ran a go route down the middle of the field in the first quarter and hauled in a touchdown catch, falling into the end zone, but the played was nullified because of an illegal motion penalty.
Shaq Thiessen ran a fade route along the right sideline and Moore hit the speedster in stride, also in the first quarter, for a 60-yard touchdown completion, but that play was called back because of a holding penalty.
Kingman notched its only score, a 36-yard field goal, concluding a drive featuring two first downs, at the beginning of the third quarter.
However, Hillsboro came back and scored with 1 minute, 31 seconds left in the third quarter. Proffitt ran between the Trojan tackles 28-yards and dived past the right front pylon of the end zone.
It was the second consecutive 90-yard rushing effort for Proffitt; he accumulated 97 yards on 11 carries. Rooker said he was happy that Proffitt scored. The junior had been held out of the end zone all season. Rooker said his tough running over the past two games earned him those six points.
Proffitt had already won the starting tailback spot the previous two weeks with determined inside runs. Heinrichs said Proffitt has bought into the identity of the team. The junior runner is no longer hesitating before hitting the hole, saving his shake and bake moves for the second level of the defense.
“He’s doing all the little things,” Heinrichs said.
Relieving Proffitt, sophomore Scott Brazil scored the Trojans’ final touchdown with a 16-yard run in the fourth quarter.
Holding Kingman to 190 yards of total offense, the Trojan defense also played well. The Trojans recovered two fumbles, one each for Cody Delk and Dylan Jirak.
Klassen notched an interception on a hook-and-lateral play in the fourth quarter.
Hillsboro also recorded four tackles for a loss, with Tyrell Thiessen, Moore, Klassen, and Jones making the stops.
Heinrichs is pleased with the way the progress the team has made over the past two weeks.
“We’re getting better,” Heinrichs said. “We knew our first four games were probably the toughest opponents we’ll see all year.”
The Trojans play Smoky Valley next week in Lindsborg.