Hillsboro’s 47-12 playoff victory over Belle Plaine on Friday at home was largely thanks to junior Matthew Potucek.
Not only did he throw for 266 yards and four touchdowns on just nine completions, he also had 96 yards rushing and two touchdowns to lead the Trojan ground game, and added two interceptions on defense.
Duncan Duell opened the game’s scoring with a 46-yard touchdown reception to net a 6-0 lead in the first quarter, and Dillon Boldt followed it up with a 52-yard touchdown catch from Potucek in the second quarter.
Jamari Harris scored for the Trojans on a short run, and Belle Plaine finally was able to respond with its first touchdown to bring the score to 20-6 in Hillsboro’s favor.
Hillsboro added another eight points before halftime, thanks to a long catch by Nicholas Smith and a two-point conversion by Potucek.
The Dragons cut the lead to 16 points with a score in the third quarter, but Hillsboro this time responded with three touchdowns. That cemented the game’s final score, with the Trojans cruising to victory.
Hillsboro’s defense also made a significant impact in the game, with 13 players registering a tackle, including two sacks and two more tackles for loss.
Garden Plain too much for Marion
Marion’s 52-6 loss at Garden Plain last week was a difficult way to end a season, but Marion managed to do one of the things it did best all season — generating turnovers.
The Warriors forced Garden Plain, who came in with a 7-1 record, into committing three turnovers.
Marion allowed just five completed passes on nine attempts and snagged an interception in the third quarter.
The Warriors also forced Garden Plains’ quarterback into a fumble, which came on a strip-sack by Marion. They cashed in on the opportunity with several impact plays from Braeden Mercer, including a long run to get Marion to the red zone, then a touchdown a few plays later.
They made similar use of special teams, forcing the home team to cough up a second fumble.
The Owls racked up 362 yards of offense, but Marion was successful in stopping most of the Garden Plain players. Garden Plain’s top two runners had 28 rushes for 268 yards, while the Warriors held everyone else to 21 yards on 16 attempts.
Marion’s pass defense fared similarly, surrendering three receptions for 55 yards to Garden Plains’ top receiver. However, the rest of the team managed just two catches for 18 yards.
Goessel wins big in return to play
After two weeks away from the football field, Goessel got off to a quick start Friday against Kinsley.
The Bluebirds jumped to a 6-0 lead on a 5-yard run by Jake Wiens, then Wiens returned a punt 62 yards to secure a 14-0 lead after a two-point conversion.
Wiens crossed the goal line a third time, Kacen Smith ran for a 65-yard score, and Nate Zogleman added a 20-yard touchdown before Kinsley finally answered.
Kinsley scored as time expired, heading into halftime with Goessel up 38-8.
Kinsley scored midway through the third quarter, but Wiens added two touchdowns for Goessel, and brother Luke Wiens scored on a long run of his own.
Luke Wiens sealed the 60-14 victory with a two-point conversion after one of his brother’s two touchdowns in the third quarter. That ended the game thanks to eight-man football’s 45-point rule.
The Bluebirds churned out 332 yards of offense, and Luke Wiens led the team with 8.5 tackles, including two tackles for loss.
Peabody-Burns game called at half
Peabody-Burns’ surprise season ended Friday, as the Warriors lost 50-0 in two quarters of play at Central Plains.
The loss ended their season at 5-4, and marked their first loss since Oct. 2 against Barber.
Peabody-Burns finished second in its district, going 4-2 in Heart of the Plains District.
Friday also marked the first time since Sept. 11 the Warriors did not score at least twice. They were 5-1 in games where they scored and scored at least 35 in every game they won.
Last modified Nov. 4, 2020