Hillsboro dispatches Eagles, 41-21
For the first time this season, the Hillsboro High School football team found itself in a new position Friday night at Ellinwood.
In two out of the three games this season, Hillsboro has found itself buried under a rockslide after the first quarter.
While the Trojans have had their share of fits trying to beat the likes of Wichita Collegiate, Smoky Valley, and the Hesston Swathers, the Eagles, however, haven’t been a speed-bump.
Trojan coach Len Coryea knows that a rough week in practice means kickback on the field, he found out last week against Smoky Valley.
Hillsboro cleaned up its act this past week, and as figured, it paid off Friday with the Trojans jumping out to a quick 14-0 lead after the first quarter, and rolled to a 41-21 win.
“We had a good week in practice,” Coryea said. “We hit on all cylinders on the plays in practice and we worked hard and it showed here. I told them we were going to run the ball.”
The stampede started right after the Trojan defense forced a three-and-out on the Eagles’ opening drive.
Daniel Jost got enough room and broke free for a 58-yard punt return to start what would prove to be a long, miserable evening for the Eagles.
With Isaac Leihy sidelined with an ankle injury, freshman kicker Jacob Wiebe gave Hillsboro a 7-0 lead 1:58 into the game with his first ever PAT attempt.
Jost was more than a nuisance for the Eagles both offensively and defensively, intercepting two passes while scoring a pair of touchdowns and hauling in a game-high seven catches for 111 yards.
Hillsboro’s lead grew to 14-0 with 45 seconds left in the first quarter with Ishmael Morris punching it in from a yard out to cap off a six-minute, 17-play scoring drive.
The Eagles have traditionally been an option offensively based team, flourishing with Brian Hanna and Glenn Whitaker in the backfield.
The Trojans’ defense surrendered a balanced offensive attack with 126 yards passing and 134 yards rushing.
Ellinwood’s biggest threat came barely midway through the second quarter with Whitaker scoring on a second-and-goal from the Eagle four to trim the lead in two.
Seven points was as close as the Eagles could get, though, with Hillsboro ripping off 27 unanswered points, fueled by Tyler Jones’ four-yard touchdown.
Jost struck again on the Eagles’ ensuing possession, picking off James Lyman’s pass to set up Hillsboro with a first-and-10 at the Ellinwood 33.
Facing a fourth-and-goal at the Eagle eight, Jacob Fish hit Jost to push Hillsboro’s lead to 28-7 by halftime after the duo again connected for the two-point conversion.
Fish finished the night 13-19 for a game-high 172 yards and two scores.
To make matters worse for the Eagles, they couldn’t take care of the ball, committing five turnovers on a trio of interceptions and a pair of fumbles with Ben Gottsch picking Lyman on the opening play of the next drive.
The Trojans stretched their lead to 35-7 to start the second half with Morris scampering up the middle unscathed for a 67-yard touchdown.
Morris picked up his second consecutive 100-yard rushing game, carrying 12 times for a game-high 105 yards.
Fish hooked up with Gottsch 49 seconds into the fourth quarter for a 21-yard touchdown to close out the Trojans’ scoring before Coryea put in some of the reserves.
Lyman then went long for Ethan Linden on a 55-yard touchdown pass and Hillsboro fumbled the kick return, setting up another Lyman scorng pass to Ryan Ward with 40 seconds left in the game.
In the end it was too little, too late.
“I thought we got a little bit lazy and complacent,” Coryea said. “I was happy with the way we came back tonight after that last performance last week, we did things real well.”
The Trojans close out their three-game road stretch at 7 p.m. Friday at Lyons.