As is usually the case when I leave the office on an autumn Friday evening, I turned on my radio last Friday to see how the Hillsboro football team was faring. It was earlier than usual when I tuned in and both Hillsboro and Miami Trace scored very early. Shortly after the second touchdown one of the announcers said to the other, “I get the feeling there could be a lot of points scored in this game.”
Give the announcer credit because he called it very early, but I seriously doubt that either one of them had any idea just how much scoring was about to play out in front of them.
For a while it seemed that neither team could stop the other. It got interesting, so I headed toward Richards Memorial Field to see what was happening for myself. I got there a little before halftime, met up with my father, and in the last 1:50 or so of the first half we saw three touchdowns scored.
When we looked up at the scoreboard and saw that it said Hillsboro 41, Miami Trace 36 at halftime, we wondered aloud if that many points had ever being scored in the first half of a game played at Richards Memorial.
Hillsboro pulled away toward the end of the game and we left before it was over, but as we were walking out of the stadium a couple people asked us pretty much the same question we had wondered about at halftime.
The final score was Hillsboro 76, Miami Trace 48, and people wanted to know if that was some type of record.
I have no idea, and I am certain that no one at Hillsboro High School could tell you either. But I can tell you this – if both the number of points Hillsboro scored and the total number of points posted on the scoreboard last Friday are not some type of record, they are awfully close.
How would I know, you might ask?
Well, I have spent many of my early years in the newspaper business as a sports writer. During those years I did a lot of research on Hillsboro football. And it just so happens that I have the score of every Hillsboro football game played from 1960 through 1998.
I can’t be specific about scores after 1998, but since games were not played on Richards Memorial Field until 1961, and I have witnessed a majority of the games played there after 1998, I feel relatively confident in telling you that I believe that both Hillsboro’s 76 points and the 124 points total scored last week are likely records.
And I can tell you for certain that from 1960 to 1998, no team scored 76 points on the field, and no two teams totaled 124.
According to my records, the most points Hillsboro scored during that time were 71. That happened in the eighth game of the 1995 season when Hillsboro beat New Richmond 71-7.
The most points scored against Hillsboro was the same number when Miami Trace beat the Indians 71-28 in the fifth game of the 1968 season. The 99 points scored in that game are also the most combined points scored in a game at Richards Memorial from 1960 through 1998.
I feel kind of sorry for any football team that has 76 points scored on them. But the Indians and coach Jack O’Rourke did not run up the score, and if Hillsboro had to score 76 points on someone, it might as well be Miami Trace.
That’s because from 1966 to 1990, the Indians went 1-24 against the MT Panthers. The lone win for Hillsboro in that string came in 1980 when the Indians beat the Panthers 30-0. The years before that game were especially tough for Hillsboro against Trace, because from 1973 to 1979, Miami Trace beat Hillsboro by consecutive scores of 28-0, 50-6, 50-0, 60-0, 60-14, 50-0 and 36-0.
Here’s another tidbit not many likely know. Back when Circleville played in the South Central Ohio League with Hillsboro, the Indians once went at least 28 games without beating the Roundtowners. I believe the streak was something like 33 years, and once upon a time I knew exactly how long it was, but it has slipped my mind and my records only go back to 1960, so all I can say for sure is 28 games.
The only non-loss to Circleville in that time came in 1965 when the teams played to a 6-6 tie. But, Hillsboro got a little revenge before the Tigers left the SCOL after the 1989-90 school year. In 1988 the Indians beat Circleville 36-12, and the next year they won again, 35-6, giving the Tigers a nice little spanking on their way out the door.
If you’re wondering about other games when Hillsboro scored lots of points, here they are, during the time of my records: 63-15 over Williamsburg in 1994, 59-21 over Clermont NE in 1993, 55-20 over Paint Valley in 1996, 55-24 over Mt. Orab in 1971, 54-0 over Blanchester in 1995, 51-0 over McClain in 1979, and 51-6 over McClain in 1996.
If you remember, the 1990s were pretty good years for the Indians. From 1993 to 1998 they posted consecutive regular season records of 8-2, 9-1, 10-0, 10-0, 7-3 and 10-0. However, it should be noted that the Indians were playing in the weaker Southern Buckeye Conference in those years, not the SCOL.
Conversely, it should also be noted that four of Hillsboro’s six wins this year (the outcome of Friday’s game was still in question at the time of this writing) have come against SBC teams.
But regardless, the Indians have made great strides this season, and I’d like to thank them for making it interesting and fun to be back at Richards Memorial Field.
One more little note. During my four years of high school at Hillsboro, my classmates lost to Miami Trace by scores of 50-0, 60-0, 60-14 and 50-0. So, it was rather enjoyable to see the tables turned a little bit last week.
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522 or firstname.lastname@example.org.