CHILLICOTHE – The Hillsboro Indians traveled to Unioto High School on Saturday and battled the Unioto Sherman in the first round of the Division IV football playoffs where they fell to 0-8 all time in postseason games with a 42-14 loss.
Hillsboro scored on back-to-back possessions in the second quarter to cut the Sherman lead to 21-14. The first score came when Bryce Parsons capped an 11-play drive with a 4-yard touchdown run with 4:34 to play in the first half. A failed two-point conversion attempt made the score 21-6.
On the ensuing Indians’ kickoff Unioto made contact with the ball and Hillsboro’s Michael Kaufman fell on it at the Unioto 34 yard line to set up a short field.
A 5-yard encroachment penalty on fourth down by the Unioto defense put the ball on the Unioto 20 yard line and Parsons broke off a spectacular 20-yard run to the end zone with 1:50 to play in the half. Indians’ starting quarterback Christopher Stout found Bryant Cox in the end zone for a successful two-point conversion that made the score 21-14.
Unioto responded with a score of its own before the end of the half when Sherman starting quarterback Isaac Little recorded his second rushing touchdown of the game, on of his four touchdowns overall, on a 1-yard run with 32 seconds to play in the half.
The Sherman put the game out of reach in the third quarter with touchdowns on consecutive possessions. The first was a 32-yard run by Little with 8:09 to play in the third quarter and the second was a back-breaking 84-yard scamper by Cameron Lohnes with 5:45 to play in the quarter that provided the final margin of 42-14.
Unioto opened the scoring in the game when Little connected with Maddox Fox on a 34-yard pass play to put the Shermans at the Hillsboro six yard line. Little capped the drive with a 6-yard touchdown pass to Fox with 6:15 to play and Unioto kicker Lucas Hanes converted the first of his six successful extra point attempts to give Unioto an early 7-0 lead.
The Sherman did the most damage in the second quarter of play when they scored three touchdowns, two rushing by Little and a third on a 40-yard touchdown pass from Little to Fox.
Despite falling in the opening round of the playoffs the Indians’ season is not over yet. Hillsboro will host the East Clinton Astros on Friday, Oct. 17 and the Clermont Northeastern Rockets on Friday, Oct. 23. The extra games are a result of the football season that was originally shortened to six games by the Ohio High School Athletic Association and an early playoff schedule.
Ryan Applegate is a stringer for The Times-Gazette.