Hillsboro Runs Over Washington C.H.

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Even before the opening kickoff, the buzz around Gardner Field was that the first team between Washington Court House and Hillsboro to score 70 points would win.

Normally, the concept of scoring 70 points is scoffed at.

However, tonight it was made evident after just one minute and 11 seconds that the matchup between the Indians and Blue Lions could very well be decided by reaching 70 points.

And it was Hillsboro that hit that benchmark first.

In a game that looks more like a basketball game on paper, the Indians (6-1, 1-1 FAC) ran away with a 71-50 win to spoil Washington’s (4-3, 0-2 FAC) Homecoming.

It took just 59 seconds to set off the offensive explosion. On the game’s third play, Gio Thomas picked up a fumbled snap, rolled out right and lobbed a jump ball up to Omar Porter. Porter was able to come down with the pass for the 29-yard score. Dillon Steward capped off the drive with by converting a two point conversion and the Blue Lions jumped out to an early 8-0 lead.

Hillsboro took just 22 seconds to respond. Jost Keets ran up the right sideline for a 24 yard touchdown on the second play of the drive. The Indians tied the game with their own two point conversion and there was still 10:39 to play in the first quarter.

Court House would respond, but it would not be a quick score. This scoring drive would eat up nearly four minutes of game time and last for 13 plays.

That drive would be the longest drive for either team all night.

The Blue Lions retook the lead when Jamie McCane broke out for a 21-yard touchdown on 3rd and 13. This time, Washington would fail to convert the two point, but led 14-6 with 6:51 to play in the first.

The Indians, once again, wasted no time finding the end zone. This time, they only needed one play. Mark Galimore sprinted 40 yards up the left sideline for the score and Hillsboro took a 16-14 lead.

The back-and-forth nature continued for the next two possessions. The Blue Lions grabbed the lead back momentarily when Thomas hit Steward over the middle for a 53-yard touchdown to give Court House a 20-16 lead, but four plays later Hillsboro grabbed the lead back when Mason Swayne scored from 45 yards out to give the Indians a 22-20 lead.

And that was just the first quarter.

The first signs of defense came in the second quarter when the Hillsboro defense forced the Blue Lions to turn the ball over on downs.

After another quick, four-play drive, Hillsboro found the end zone again. It was Keets again, this time the running back ran over a couple Blue Lion defenders on the way in. Yet another successful two point conversion gave the Indians a 10-point lead, 30-20, with 10:36 to play in the first half.

Washington wasn’t about to let to game get out of hand this early, though. Steward scored another touchdown, this time on the ground, and then caught the ensuing two point conversion to cut the Indian lead back to two, 30-28, with just over eight minutes to play in the first half.

That was as close as the game would be until the final whistle.

Hillsboro would reel off two more touchdowns in the first half while the Court House offense would sputter.

The Indians took a eye-popping 52-28 lead into the locker room at halftime.

The second half would prove to be no different for the Blue Lions’ defense. Just three plays into the third quarter, Hillsboro scored another touchdown and the lead ballooned to 30, 58-20.

Washington Court House actually had a chance to make the game close late in the third quarter. Down 58-36, the Blue Lions defense finally was able to stop the Indian offense. On the ensuing drive, Court House drove all the way down to the Hillsboro 22 before turning the ball over on downs.

The Blue Lions would eventually cut the lead down to 14 early in the fourth quarter when Thomas and Steward connected again for six, but the Court House defense was unable to hold the Indians out of the end zone on their ensuing drive.

Hillsboro ended the night with monstrous numbers on the ground. As a team, the Indians ran for 612 yards on 56 carries. That’s an average of 10.9 yards per carry.

Galimore finished the night with the most yards for the Indians, rushing for 215 yards and two touchdowns on just 12 carries. Both Deon Burns and Keets topped the century mark on the ground, rushing for 178 and 174 yards respectively. Burns also found the end zone twice, while Keets found paydirt four times on the ground.

Even in defeat, the Court House offense continued to put up insane numbers. Thomas completed 19 of his 35 pass attempts for 377 yards and four touchdowns. He also added 29 yards and a score on the ground.

Steward also had himself a night. The Blue Lions’ ultimate weapon caught 12 balls for 266 yards and three touchdowns while also rushing for 50 yards and a score.

This loss all but eliminates Washington Court House from playoff contention, but this game does just the opposite for the Indians. Hillsboro saw their chances of advancing to the postseason shoot up to 68% after this win.

The schedule does no favors for the Indians, however. Next week, they travel to Jackson to take on the red-hot Ironmen offense.

Court House will look to bounce back when McClain pays a visit to Gardner Field.