“We’re not as bad as we looked last week,” head football coach Max Heinrichs said. “We’re not as good as we looked this week.”
The Hillsboro High School football team defeated Lyons 35-0 Friday in Hillsboro. The game was called because of lightning with 2 minutes, 26 seconds left to play in the third quarter. The game was delayed with 6:06 remaining in the second quarter, also because of lightning. With two delays and a hefty deficit, the Lyons coaches and activities director decided to call the game.
Heinrichs said the team developed an identity Friday. Running more plays out of the I-formation, the Trojans handed off the ball on inside runs for the majority of their plays. Against, Halstead last week, the Trojans ran more plays out of the shotgun with three wide receivers on the field.
Although quarterback Luke Moore said the Trojans started the game soft Friday, the Trojans put together a drive featuring four first downs. Moore punched the ball into the end zone on a quarterback keeper to put Hillsboro up 7-0 with 12:00 remaining.
The drive was the catalyst that would lead to 262 team rushing yards, led by Moore who had the most with 87. Hillsboro picked up 19 first downs and controlled the ball for more than 30 minutes of game time.
Senior quarterback Moore also ran for three touchdowns including a 20-yard right side sweep run with 8:09 left on the clock after the rain delay and a 26-yard run up the middle for the Trojans last score in the third quarter.
“The line did a great job giving me an option to run,” Moore said.
The Hillsboro offensive line led by Dylan Jirak, Nathan Unruh, and Aaron Slater did not surrender a negative play after the first quarter. The Trojan linemen manhandled Lyons defensive front, which featured junior Nathan Cardonne who is listed at 315 pounds but no other players weighing more than 215.
The Trojans second leading rusher was Tyrell Thiessen who ran for 79 yards. Thiessen started the offensive attack with a long first down run in the second quarter. He averaged 13.2 yards per carry Friday. He exploded for a 30-yard run in the third quarter, in which he broke two tackles.
“He’s a load,” Heinrichs said. “And he’s one of the fastest guys on the team.”
Thiessen led the way for the group of Trojan backs who Heinrichs said played more physical against Lyons. Fellow fullback Devin Dick recorded 33 yards with a 1-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.
Tyler Proffitt ran for 35 yards and Mitchell Day ran for 22.
The Trojan defense did not allow the Lions to gain another first down in the final two quarters. Both Tyrell and safety Shaq Thiessen came up with sound open-field tackles for stops during the contest.
“We’re depending on Shaq and Tyrell to come up big,” Heinrichs said.
Heinrichs was pleased to see Shaq Thiessen put together two explosive plays with the ball. Thiessen had a 44-yard kickoff return and caught the only completion of the game from Moore. He transformed a 5-yard, right-side slant into a 35-yard completion by running up the middle of the field and nearly reaching the goal line.
“He did a great job of sitting in the opening,” Moore said. “He’s a very smart route runner.”
The Trojans play Sterling Friday at Sterling and then Hesston Sept. 23 at home. Heinrichs said the Trojans first five games are the toughest part of the schedule.
“We really needed to get this,” he said.