The Hillsboro Indians used a strong rushing attack and a timely defensive stop on a late 2-point conversion attempt to win their Week 1 battle over the Western Brown Broncos, 30-28.
Hillsboro took an early 8-0 lead on a Josh Keets 9 yard touchdown run and a 2 point conversion by quarterback Mason Swayne. The Broncos answered with a 4 yard touchdown pass from elusive quarterback Josh Taylor, but the extra point attempt was missed wide left, and the score stayed 8-6 until the second half.
The Indians power rushing attack provided the next score midway through the third quarter on a 6 yard run by Swayne. Keets added the 2 point conversion and Hillsboro lead 16-6. However, the Broncos quick strike offense answered, this time on a touchdown catch by Yani Williams from Taylor and the Broncos added the 2 point conversion to trail 16-14.
In the fourth quarter Swayne extended the Hillsboro advantage once again with a touchdown rush of 18 yards, but the Tribe failed on the conversion attempt and the score stood 22-14. Hillsboro then converted the games only turnover, a fumble recovery by Lane Cluff, into a Dion Burns touchdown run, with Burns also adding the 2 point conversion and Hillsboro held a seemingly insurmountable lead of 30-14 with just under 10 minutes to play.
Western Brown would not go quietly as the Broncos scored on a short touchdown run by Taylor, and with Gary Powell III adding a catch for a 2 point conversion the Broncos trailed 30-22 with 9 minutes to play.
After a defensive stand with just over 5 minutes to play, Western drove 65 yards and scored on a great throw and touchdown catch by Evan Luttrell to make the score 30-28 with 3:40 left on the clock. The Hillsboro defense saved the game on the next play as good pressure on Taylor forced an early and high throw and the 2 point conversion attempt was incomplete to preserve the Indians 2 point advantage.
From there the game belonged to Hillsboro’s offensive line as rushes by Burns and Keets allowed the Indians to run out the clock and secure their first victory of the 2018 campaign.
Western Brown (0-1) travels to Little Miami next week, while the Indians (1-0) travel to Goshen to take on the Warriors on a game that can be heard on WSRW 101.5 FM and 1590 AM, as well as the iHeart Radio app.