Hillsboro’s Indians football team hosted their first game of the young season on Friday when they welcomed the East Clinton Astros to Richards’ Memorial Field in a matchup of two former South Central Ohio League rivals.
Hillsboro got off to a fast start in the game as they received the opening kickoff and returned it to their own 33-yard line.
Hillsboro then turned to their trusty rushing attack as they navigated 67-yards on the ground with Josh Keets capping off the drive with a 33-yard touchdown to give Hillsboro a 6-0 lead.
The Indians went for the two-point conversion but were stopped short to keep the score at 6-0 with 10:37 to play in the first quarter.
The ensuing kickoff by Deon Burns went out of bounds at the East Clinton 41-yard line to give the Astros a short field to work with.
Inclement weather in the area became a factor in the first offensive play for the Astros as starting quarterback Gunner Neanover fumbled the snap and Hillsboro’s Max Conover recovered the ball.
With the ball on the East Clinton 38-yard line the Indians again tuned to their rushing attack as Burns carried the ball four straight times to advance to the Astros’ 18 yard line.
From there Mason Swayne and Keets traded rushes in between penalties for the Indians. Swayne rushed for two yards to the East Clinton one-yard line to put the Indians in position to score again.
Two lightening delays saw both teams return to the field house to for nearly an hour with 7:07 to play in the first quarter.
Following the delay Swayne completed the drive with a one yard touchdown run to extend the Hillsboro lead to 12-0. The extra point attempt by the Indians was no good and kept the score at 12-0 with 6:58 to play in the first quarter.
The next possession for the Astors again ended with a fumble by Neanover that was recovered by Luke Middleton at the Astros’ 22-yard line.
The Indians turned to Keets for two straight rushing attempts to punch it into the end zone and a failed two point conversion try gave the Indians an 18-0 lead with 6:11 to play in the first.
The Astros took advantage of a multitude of Hillsboro penalties to secure their initial first down of the game as they moved into Hillsboro territory for the first time.
However East Clinton was unable to capitalize as the Hillsboro defense, led by James Coday, clamped down and forced an incomplete pass on a fourth down fake punt play by the Astros.
The Indians continued their dominance on the ensuing possession as they chewed up 56 yards in short order. The six-play drive was capped by an 11-yard touch down run by Keets as time expired in the first quarter. Burns converted the two-point try to give the Indians a 26-0 lead after one quarter.
Hillsboro added 23 points in the second quarter and held the Astros scoreless.
The Indians’ defense really stepped up in the second quarter as Swayne intercepted one pass and Justin Spears took away two more with each leading to scores by the Indians.
Hillsboro converted their first point after try of the year as Reece Bloomfield added to the Indian lead making it 49-0 with 1:14 to play in the first half.
The teams were forced to take only three minutes for half time and the third and fourth quarters were reduced to eight minutes apiece.
Neither team scored in the second half as the Indians ran down the clock and cruised to a 49-0 win to improve their record to 3-0 on the season. The loss moves the Astros to 0-3 on the season.
Reach Ryan Applegate at 937-402-2572, or on Twitter @RCApplegate89.