Sometimes a football game boils down to one drive.
The Hillsboro High School football team led 20-13 over Haven on Tuesday with 48.9 seconds left in third quarter. After a tough first-down run out of a power I formation, a 5-yard gain where he was forced out of bounds along the left sideline, Hillsboro quarterback Tyler Proffitt slowly walked off the field with the assistance of a trainer and had his ankle taped on the Hillsboro bench.
Enter backup quarterback Lucas Sinclair.
Hillsboro head coach Lance Sawyer simplified the plays with Sinclair at quarterback, even facing first-and-15 to start the drive. A left-side screen to Tyrell Thiessen picked up 5 yards, an inside handoff to Thiessen picked up another 4 yards, and Sinclair finished the first series with a run left for a first down at the Haven 27-yard-line.
Another shotgun handoff to Thiessen gained 3 yards, as the bruising Hillsboro runner carried three defenders as he pushed the pile. On third-and-2, Sinclair ran up the middle with the Trojans spread out wide with five wide receivers for a first down to the 16-yard line. A Thiessen run up the middle gained 9 more yards and Sinclair gained another first down running behind a lead blocker out of shotgun formation.
With the Trojans running the ball down Haven’s throats in the no huddle, Sinclair threw a playaction pass to Josh Wiebe who ran up seem for a 3-yard touchdown pass.
“We knew what we needed to do,” Sinclair said of the drive.
Up 27-13, the Trojans were again in control of the game. On the opening play of Haven’s drive, defensive tackle Dylan Jirak tipped a pass at the line of scrimmage and intercepted the ball deep in Haven territory.
Proffitt reentered the game but Tyrell Thiessen was tackled for a loss on third-and-2 to bring up fourth-and-5. That is when Sinclair ran open and caught a corner route untouched in the left side of the end zone.
“I’ve never done that before,” Sinclair said of throwing and catching a touchdown pass in the same game.
Shaq Thiessen recorded his second interception of the game with 1:41 left in the contest to seal the win for Hillsboro, 34-13.
The Trojans’ offense looked good early. Shaq Thiessen took a quick hitch 20 yards, running past two defenders for the first touchdown. It was already his second pass reception; he opened the game for Hillsboro with a 50-yard pass on a fade where he worked to gain inside position on the deep Haven zone. The second drive was more methodical but ended with a Tyrell Thiessen inside touchdown run for 2 yards on fourth-and-goal. To open the second quarter, Shaq Thiessen caught another deep fade route throw from Proffitt for a 30-yard touchdown in the short corner of the end zone.
“He does those plays great because he is an athlete and a good football player,” Sinclair said. “There’s not much more I can say about him.”
Then the offense sputtered with a series of miscues — penalties and bad snaps that gave the Trojans a consistent variety of long yardage situations to work from. Hillsboro would not score again until the fourth quarter. Sawyer stressed it will be imperative for the Trojans to play mistake free football against Sedgwick on Saturday in Hillsboro.
In the third quarter, the Trojans needed a stop to keep Haven at bay. Middle linebacker Tanner Jones delivered a crunching hit on Haven quarterback Cody Crabtree for a 2-yard loss.
“Plays like that get us going,” Sinclair said.