It was a beautiful night for football at Richards Memorial Field, as the Hillsboro Indians opened their season at home hosting the Western Brown Broncos.
The Broncos proved to be too much for the Indians to though, and the final was Broncos 40, Indians 0.
The game started on a sour note as Hillsboro gave the ball up on just their third play.
To start their series, quarterback Hunter Chain kept the ball on the first two plays for runs of two yards and minus three. On third down, the Indians decided to take to the air with a pass play, which was intercepted by the Broncos.
On Western Brown’s first play, they also took to the air, but they connected with a pass to Eean Hornung for 42 yards and a touchdown. There was a bad snap on the extra point and the pass to salvage the play was incomplete, but with just under two minutes off the clock, the Broncos led 6-0.
On the kick off, Brian Smith got some room to run and brought the kick back 15 yards, but the next three plays went nowhere and the Indians were forced to punt, which was blocked by Western Brown to put them on their 42 yard-line.
The Indians defense stepped it up on this series, forcing two incomplete passes and then Conner Lowe made a tackle behind the line for a seven yard loss.
This brought up fourth down and the Broncos decided to go for it. They took to the air to gain the yards they needed and Hunter Chain redeemed himself by intercepting the pass and the Indians started their series on the 35 yard-line.
On first down, the ball was handed off to Lane Hester, who powered forward for a one-yard gain and the next play, Chain kept the ball and picked up a huge chuck of yards (21) to put his team in Bronco territory. Chain followed that up with two-yard and 13 yard passes to Jed Asmus and Ryan Hagan respectively which gave the Indians another first down. But a negative run and two incomplete passes stalled the drive at the 32 and the Indians were forced to punt. The punter, Deon Burns booted one all the way to the other endzone for a touch-back but was hit hard after kicking the ball ad gave the Indians a 15-yard penalty and another first down. The Indians were able to gain two more yards after the penalty but the ball was fumbled on the 20 yard line which led to a touchdown for Western Brown a few plays later and the score was 13-0.
After that it was mostly Broncos as they shut down Hillsboro passing and run offense, chasing Chain from the pocket and forcing bad throws.
Chain ended up with two throwing interceptions but picked off the Broncos quarterback three times in the game.
The Indians fall to 0-1 with the loss and will be back at home next week when they host Goshen High School with the game starting at 7:30 p.m.
Reach Robert Stegbauer at 937-393-3456 ext. 1679 or on Twitter @RStegbauer.