The Hillsboro Indians picked up their first win of the season on Friday night in a big way with a 40-6 victory over the Clermont Northeastern Rockets on the road.
The Indians started off the game with a bang and it was all Heith Brown.
Hillsboro started with the ball on their own 46 with Brown starting off the drive with a four yard pickup on the ground. On the next run, it was Brown again, this time for a break-away 45 yard pickup to take the ball all the way to the Rocket five and on the next play it was an easy punch through the hole for a touchdown and Hillsboro was up 6-0 with 10:47 to go in the first.
CNE came back with their own touchdown at the 6:58 minute mark to tie the game up 6-6.
After that, it was all Hillsboro, as both the defense and the offense looked to be firing on all cylinders on way to the 40-6 rout.
The next touchdown came off through the air after another series of powerful runs by Heith Brown. Brown carried the ball five times for a total of 18 yards and the drive was capped off with a 35 yard touchdown pass from quarterback Hunter Chain to his receiver Ryan Hagan who took the ball in and made it 13-6 in favor of the Indians.
Another Heith brown score capped off an impressive first half offensive performance by the Indians as he ran the ball 23 yards for another touchdown after a quarterback keeper for four yards and a three yard run by Brown.
The Rockets threatened to score right before the halftime buzzer with a 58 yard pass that took the ball all the way to the 19 yard line but the Indians forced a fumble that was recovered by Christian Opst of Hillsboro to stop the threat and it was Hillsboro up 20-6 at the half.
Hillsboro came out in the second half and weren’t letting up. On the Rocket’s first series, the Indians defense forced a four and out and got the ball after a turnover on downs.
On this drive, it was a combination of Heith Brown and Lane Hester to get the score. Brown ran the ball a total of four times for 18 yards and Hester added four carries himself for 20 yards including the one yard TD run to make it 26-6.
The touchdown to put the Indians even further ahead (33-6) was set up by the defense, namely Andrew Palmer. Palmer intercepted a CNE pass and returned it 57 yards to put the Indians on the five yard line. Hunter Chain got behind his offensive line, which cleared a gaping hole and ran in untouched for the five yard TD run and made it 33-6.
For the final score of the night, the Indians brought in Deon Burns who proceeded to run the ball and roll over anyone in his path and it took several Rockets to pull him down. He ended up in the endzone himself and capped off the drive by kicking in the extra point as well and brought the game to its final score of 40-6.
“I really challenged my offensive line this week,” said Indians coach Matt Hodge after the win. “I got after those guys pretty good. Me being their position coach, they don’t get a lot of breaks from me and I’m really proud of the way they played tonight and they were the difference in the game.”
The Indians improve to 1-2 on the year and will go up against Washington next week at home for their homecoming game.
Reach Robert Stegbauer at 937-393-3456 ext. 1679 or on Twitter @RStegbauer.