The Eastmoor Academy Warriors used a 21 point third quarter scoring barrage to defeat the Hillsboro Indians 34-14 at Archie Griffin Stadium Friday night in the OHSAA Division 3 Region 11 football playoffs.
The Warriors struck first on a 79 yard touchdown run by Savon Edwards JR with 2:05 left in the first quarter, but missed the extra point and lead stayed 6-0. The Indians answered with a scoring drive of their own in the second quarter, capped by a Dion Burns touchdown run, and with the 2 point conversion added by a Mason Swayne run the Indians lead 8-6.
Hillsboro had an opportunity to score late in the first half after stopping the Warriors on downs near midfield. On the final play of the half, Swayne found Luke Middleton on a pass that Middleton took all the way to the end zone, but the play was negated by an illegal shift penalty and the score stood at 8-6 as both teams headed to the locker rooms.
The game turned immediately in favor of Eastmoor as they returned the second half kickoff deep into Hillsboro territory and scored 2 plays later to take a 13-8 lead. Hillsboro answered with a 7 play drive into Eastmoor territory, but could not convert on a fourth and short, turning the ball over to the Warriors. However, the Indians forced a fumble on the very next play and took possession on the Eastmoor 35 yard line. The Indians could not take advantage of the turnover and punted the ball back to Eastmoor, but once again, Hillsboro forced a fumble and took over possession on the Eastmoor 13 yard line.
The turning point of the game was on the ensuing possession with 3:44 left in the third quarter as Eastmoor intercepted Swayne on a tipped pass on fourth down, once again denying the Indians of a scoring opportunity. The Warriors seized their opportunity and scored a touchdown 4 plays later and with the extra point lead 20-7.
The next Indian possession resulted in another interception, this time returned for a touchdown by Edwards Jr, and with the extra point Eastmoor lead 27-8 with 2:45 remaining in the third quarter.
Aided by a 40 yard run by Mark Gallimore, Hillsboro began the fourth quarter with another drive deep into Eastmoor territory, but once again the Warriors defense rose to the occasion forcing a turnover on downs. Five plays later, Eastmoor found the end zone again on a 48 yard touchdown reception by Cameron Long and Eastmoor lead 34-8.
Hillsboro managed to put together one more score, as Swayne capped a 7 play drive with a 33 yard touchdown run, but the Indians were denied the conversion and the scoring ended with Eastmoor leading 34-14.
Hillsboro’s historic season ends with a (9-2) record and a share of the Frontier Athletic Conference championship. The Warriors (10-1) advance to the regional semifinals to face Bishop Hartley, a 51-14 winner over Athens.