For a game that ended with a 28-0 victory for Hillsboro, Friday’s home win over rival Marion looked markedly more competitive than the box score.
The Trojans returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown, but Marion halted any more first-quarter scoring by setting up shop in the Trojan backfield.
The Warriors’ first-quarter play was highlighted by four consecutive downs where they stopped Hillsboro in the red zone, forcing a turnover on downs.
The Trojans were able to execute several longer plays, including a 21-yard touchdown from running back Jamari Harris, but Marion never looked defeated and was able to generate pressure on Hillsboro even late into the fourth quarter.
As competitive as the Marion defense was, Hillsboro’s defense was smothering, hardly allowing any first downs.
The Trojans’ defense led to solid field position for the home team. That allowed its offense to do what it did best all season, making explosive plays downfield.
In addition to the opening kickoff and Harris’ long run for a score, the Trojans benefited off a 57-yard touchdown pass from Matthew Potucek to Frank Wichert and a second score by Harris from three yards out.
The biggest takeaway for Marion might have been just that — generating takeaways. Despite allowing 28 points, the Warriors won the turnover battle 3-2. That included an interception where Seth Lanning nearly broke loose for a touchdown return.
Marion’s best offensive sequence of the game may have come after that interception. Despite being late in the fourth quarter, Marion capitalized on being deep in Trojan territory by marching toward the goal line.
Lanning delivered a trio of passes to get within mere feet of a score, but Hillsboro’s defense proved to be the immovable object for the game, forcing a turnover on downs with one yard to go.
The Warrior defense also looked strong in the red zone. Of Hillsboro’s five scores, Marion gave up only a touchdown and field goal from within 20 yards of the end zone.
Peabody-Burns wins to reach .500
After a one-week drop-off, Peabody-Burns propelled itself back to the winners’ circle Friday with a 38-18 win at Caldwell.
The win means the Warriors have won three of their last four games. Peabody-Burns already has eclipsed last year’s two wins, and has reached .500 overall with a 3-3 record.
The Warriors have responded by outscoring opponents 170-110 in their last four games after being outscored 72-0 their first two games.
Goessel wins big
Similar to Peabody-Burns, Goessel reached .500 for the season with a win Friday, as the Bluebirds coasted to a 56-6 victory at Fairfield.
Goessel led 28-0 at the end of the first quarter thanks to two touchdowns from Kacen Smith and one touchdown each from Jake Wiens and Grant Bryant.
The Bluebirds scored three times in the second quarter and once in the third.
The game was called five minutes into the second half because of eight-man football’s 45-point rule.
The Bluebirds averaged 16.4 yards per carry and punted only once.
Centre games forfeited
Centre’s home game against Lebo was forfeited by the Cougars because they did not have enough players.
Reporters Delbert Peters and Rowena Plett contributed to this story.
Last modified Oct. 15, 2020