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Hillsboro ends a 3 year streak beating Independence, 20-17.

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SPRING HILL, TN –  Hillsboro High School ended the Independence Eagle’s the three year winning streak against the Burros finishing a long night of football with a score of HHS 20 – IHS 17. Darian Williams (SR #2), produced a Hillsboro’s football “must-see FB” performance that led the Burros to a strong win over a former state champion.

Darian Williams, #2; Senior – Photo by Tamia Fisher

Like almost all Middle Tennessee high schools, Friday night’s game began on time but fans and players were ordered to leave the field when wide-spread lightening cause an hour weather delay.

The delay came at the end of the first quarter. The Eagles led 3-0. Fans and players were ushered to cars, locker rooms or gyms for about 70 minutes of no play.

Following the weather delay, the second quarter produced a series of trading drives of missed opportunities. The Burros failed to convert two red zone with lapses of focus, forcing back-to-back turnovers on downs on the 6 and 13  yard lines, respectively.

Following a shortened halftime, came into the second half with obvious resolve to put some scores on the scoreboard.

At the 4:56 mark of the 3rd quarter, Darius Smith, (#15, SR) wide receiver caught a 35 yard (no PAT) to put six points on the scoreboard. Darian Williams scored next with a 32 yard rush that need the 3rd quarter with a score of 12-10.

Darian Williams #2; Hillsboro 20 – Independence 17; photo by Tamia Fisher

The teams traded drives a couple of times and it was Williams who came up the next big play. Williams completed a 32 yard, dazzle-dazzle, spin and stretch dive for the goal line.  After a referee conference that determined that Williams did not break the plane before he was down, the TD was called back and the Burros set up 1st and goal on the 2 yard line. Jevon Russell (#34) completed the drive with his own leaping stretch and the Burros go up 20 -10 with 4:56 left in the game.

Three minutes and 26 seconds is plenty for either team to score again and it took 1:36 for the Eagles’s TJ Sheffield, a 3 star recruit who is lightening fast, to turn it up for a 64 yard TD that would put the Eagles within 3 to tie the game.

It was the Burros game to lose or win, and it would take a mistake free three minute drive to do so. Independence predictably went for the on-side kick recovery on the kick-off and it worked. With three minutes to score the Eagles executed perfectly clock management but it would be the Burro defensive that would thwart any efforts they had to get into the end zone.

Jay Henderson, #53; Senior Photo by Tamia Fisher

In their own lapse of concentration, the Eagle’s holder mishandled the snap for a field goal to tie the game and the Burros took over on their own 17 with 56 seconds left on the clock.

Practice and focus are the only tools that can enable a team to manage a victory formation sans mistakes.

The Burros zeroed in on Head Coach Maurice Fitzgerald’s instruction and perfectly executed the last 56 secs. for the win.

Demonstrating significant growth from the 2017 season, the offense was clued to Head Coach Maurice Fitzgerald’s instructions as to how to execute the victory formation and the Burros skillfully ran out the last 56 seconds for the win.

Defensive Game Balls:

Defensive Line: 19 solos tackles; multiple assisted and 7 tackles for a loss

Jay Henderson: key sack of the night; 3 solo & 3 assisted tackles

Joseph Honeysucker: 3 solo & 3 assisted tackles 1 tackle for a loss and 1 sack

J’tylan Evans: 4 solo & 2 assisted tackles; 1 tackle for a loss

Offensive Game Balls

Darian Williams: 18 carries/170 yards/1 TD/0 Fb (def: 2 solo  & 1 assisted tackle)

Jalen Macon completed 12/16 passes/168 yards/1 TD/0 INT

Darius Smith: 5/7 catches/75 yards/1 TD/ 1 drop

Up Next:

Hillsboro ( 2-2/0-1) travels to Glencliff ( 0-4; 0-1) for a 5A, Region 6 match-up.


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