Rough SCOL opener for Indians

By Robert Stegbauer -

Deon Burns kicks a field goal, which were Hillsboro’s only points in the 22-3 loss to Washington Friday night.

Christian Opst (44) makes a tackle Friday night against Washington.

It was a troublesome night for the Hillsboro Indians football team in the South Central Ohio League opener as well as homecoming night as they were only able to collect a field goal in the 22-3 loss to Washington on Friday night.

Mental mistakes were another issues for the Indians in the loss as there were five defensive offsides called on them as well as a Hillsboro player ejected after an on-field dispute got physical.

The game started shaky for the Indians as Washington looked to be going for an old school pounding running game from the start, marching the ball down the field all the way to the six yard line. This is where Hillsboro finally decided to make a stand and forced the Blue Lions to turn the ball over on downs after going for it on fourth down and being stood up by the Indians defensive line.

The Indians took over on downs from their own six yard line after the defensive stop but were unable to get anything started and went three downs, gaining only four yards and were forced to punt the ball.

In this series, the Blue Lions scored the first touchdown of the game.

To start off the drive, the Lions gave the ball to their running back who took it and picked up several yards and the Lions were already knocking on the door. However, an illegal procedure by Washington on the play brought the ball all the way back and they had to repeat the first down. On first down the Lions picked up five yards on the ground to bring up a second down with five to go. The Lions went again with the ground attack, but this time they picked up 44 yards and took the ball into the endzone for a touchdown and the game had its first score with 3:48 to go in the first quarter of play.

The Lions got on the board again just over a minute later, this time because of a mistake by the Indians.

The Indians got the ball after the Washington touchdown and gave the ball to Heith Brown on the first two downs and were able to get the ball forward just two yards. An incomplete pass on third down brought up fourth down again and Hillsboro was forced to punt. The snap on the punt was too high and tipped off the punter’s finger tips and went to the endzone. The punter got to the ball first but was forced to dive on it and the Lions got on the board again with the two-point safety. This made it 9-0 with 2:21 to go in the first quarter.

For the next several series, neither team could get on the board. The Hillsboro defense was able to force a couple fumbles in that time, but the first one did not yield any results. The second fumble, recovered by Conner Lowe, did.

The Lions finally went to the air against the Indians and it looked to work really well, as their first big throw went for 71 yards and a touchdown. But the ball was brought all the way back after the officials ruled that the quarterback threw from past the line of scrimmage. On the next play, the Indians forced the fumble and recovered it, setting them up in good field position for their next drive.

On the first play, the ball was handed off to Heith Brown for a one yard pickup. The next play was a run as well and yielded three more yards. During the play, a Blue Lion defender kneed a Hillsboro played in the gut out of the field of vision of the official. So on the next play, the Indians sent Britton Haines out against the same player, and on the way down the field, the player was called for illegal hand to the face, a penalty that was half the distance to the goal and took the Indians down to the seven yard line.

Unfortunately, that was as close as the Indians would get as their offense sputtered out and was unable to get anymore in the way of yards. The Indians did get on the board however, with a 25 yard field goal by Deon Burns that made the score 9-3 with 4:20 to go in the second quarter.

That was the score as both teams headed to the locker room at the halftime buzzer.

Washington scored two more times in the second half, once at the end of the third quarter and a final time with 1:28 to go in the game to bring the final score to 22-3.

The Indians fall to 1-3 overall and start 0-1 in the SCOL. They will travel to Wilmington next Friday night to look for their first league win.

Reach Robert Stegbauer at 937-393-3456 ext. 1679 or on Twitter @RStegbauer.

Deon Burns kicks a field goal, which were Hillsboro’s only points in the 22-3 loss to Washington Friday night. Burns kicks a field goal, which were Hillsboro’s only points in the 22-3 loss to Washington Friday night.

Christian Opst (44) makes a tackle Friday night against Washington. Opst (44) makes a tackle Friday night against Washington.

By Robert Stegbauer