The Hillsboro High School Trojans football team fell behind early against the Remington Broncos Friday after some miscues in the red zone, but they cleaned up their mistakes and surged ahead to win 43-17.
The Broncos relied heavily on rushes between the tackles, and it worked early on as Eli Igo scored an 18-yard touchdown on Remington’s second drive, giving the Broncos a 6-0 lead.
Jakob Hanschu returned the ensuing kickoff to the 9-yard line of Remington, setting Hillsboro up with first-and-goal. Remington ended Hillsboro’s scoring threat with an interception when a pass bounced off a receiver’s chest.
Hillsboro’s defense forced a punt on Remington’s possession. A pass by Jesse Brown to Evan Ollenburger set up first-and-goal at the 4-yard line, and a pass to Hanschu tied the game at 6 at the end of the first quarter.
Remington drove to Hillsboro’s 20-yard line on the next possession before the Trojans turned them away on fourth-and-15. The Trojans then drove inside the 10, thanks to receptions by Ollenburger and Cody Delk. Brown slipped while scrambling away from a pass rush, setting up third-and-goal at the 26 yard line. Back-to-back incompletions gave the ball back to the Broncos.
Hillsboro’s run defense stepped up afterwards, forcing a turnover on downs on fourth-and-5. The Trojans again drove deep into Remington territory with catches for big yardage by Preston Nelson, but Brown lost a fumble reaching for the endzone after scrambling.
The fumble led to the defensive highlight of the night, when the Trojans tackled Todd Ensz for a safety, giving Hillsboro its first lead of the night, 8-6.
After the free kick, Hillsboro marched down the field for another touchdown. On back-to-back plays, Brown threw to Hanschu — once to convert third-and-14, then to score a 24-yard touchdown on a corner route with 41 seconds left in the first half.
Remington drove into Hillsboro territory before halftime, but Hillsboro ended the half with a sack.
Hillsboro held on to the momentum after halftime, scoring on three consecutive drives (with passes to Jordan Faul and twice to Nelson), then on a punt return by Hanschu to lead 43-14. The second TD to Nelson came on a 58-yard screen on the Trojans first play of the drive. Remington’s one score in that time came when Hillsboro was already up by 23.
After the outcome of the game was already decided, Remington scored its final points on a 25-yard field goal by Blaine Cody, making the score 43-17.
The Trojans punted with reserves in the game, but the game ended with an interception by Hanschu.
Coach Lance Sawyer said the defensive front played well against Remington’s power run game, citing Cody Craney and Levi Mendoza as anchors along the line.
“Our front four started getting off the blocks,” Sawyer said.
Jesse Brown: 24/33, 372 yards, 5 TDs.
J. Brown: 8 carries, 31 yards.
Jakob Hanschu: 3 carries, -1 yard.
Preston Nelson: 2 carries, -6 yards.
Evan Ollenburger: 8 receptions, 144 yards.
P. Nelson: 9 receptions, 119 yards, 2 TDs.
J. Hanschu: 3 receptions, 53 yards, 2 TDs.
Cody Delk: 1 reception, 29 yards.
Grant Knoll: 1 reception, 16 yards.
Jordan Faul: 2 receptions, 11 yards, 1 TD.
J. Hanschu: 2 kickoff returns, 79 yards; 2 punt returns, 34 yards, 1 TD.
E. Ollenburger: 1 kickoff return, 11 yards.
The Trojans begin district play at 7 p.m. Friday with a home game against Moundridge.