The Hillsboro High School Trojans football team lost its season-opener Friday against Lyons in Hillsboro, 26-12.
“We had some guys who weren’t prepared, it seems to me,” head coach Lance Sawyer said, adding that it was the coaches’ fault. “We were flat all around.”
Lyons got out to a 16-0 lead in the first half on a pair of touchdowns and a field goal. Quarterback Jesse Brown ran in a touchdown with 3 minutes, 30 seconds left in the half to cut the deficit to 10 points. The touchdown was set up when Josh Funk blocked a Lyons punt at the 15, giving the Trojans a short field.
Lyons increased its lead to 23-6 with 1:36 left in the first half when Jacob Buckman intercepted a pass and returned it for a touchdown. It was the second of three interceptions Brown threw.
Lyons began the third quarter with a 75-yard drive that took 6:21 off the clock and ended in a field goal to increase the lead to 26-6.
Jakob Hanschu took over at quarterback for Hillsboro in the fourth quarter and promptly marched the Trojans into scoring position, completing a pair of short passes and running for 21 yards on a sneak on third-and-1. Hanschu threw a touchdown pass to Jordan Faul on third-and-goal with 8:36 left in the game, cutting the deficit to 14 points.
Hillsboro then forced a three-and-out by Lyons, and Hanschu returned the punt into Lyons territory. Hanschu completed a pass to Evan Ollenburger for 23 yards, but the Trojans turned the ball over on downs soon afterward, and Lyons won, 26-12.
In addition to catching 4 passes for 38 yards and a touchdown, Faul intercepted a pair of passes by Lyons quarterback Ryan McClure.
“We knew Jordan would step up and play well this year,” Sawyer said of the senior.
The Trojans struggled to gain yards on the ground, averaging 1.3 yards per rush, as a result, Lyons controlled time of possession with nearly 30 minutes to Hillsboro’s 18 minutes.
Brown and Hanschu each completed just under half of their passes. Brown was 11 of 23 for 86 yards, and Hanschu was 7 of 15 for 77 yards.
Justus Hilliard led Hillsboro in receiving with 7 catches for 47 yards. Ollenburger caught 2 for 32 yards. Preston Nelson caught 4 for 29, and Cody Delk caught 1 for 17.
Hanschu led the team in rushing with 22 yards on 4 attempts. Hilliard had 5 yards on 4 attempts. Ollenburger, Preston Nelson, and Brown combined for -2 yards on 11 rushes.
Sawyer said he was pleased with the Trojans’ defense, which after giving up a pair of touchdowns in the first quarter, only allowed Lyons’ offense a pair of field goals the rest of the game.
The Trojans’ next game will be at 7 p.m. Friday at Sterling.