KICKAPOO — Weather once again prompted an early end to Hillsboro’s varsity football game this week.
Before lightning and severe thunderstorms halted Friday’s non-conference affair at Kickapoo/La Farge midway through the fourth quarter, the Tigers were able to secure a 40–16 victory to improve to 2–0 on the season.
Junior halfbacks and twin brothers Tommy and Tyler Crandall accounted for 300 yards of total offense and five touchdowns in the blowout win.
Tommy Crandall rushed for 200 yards and a pair of scores to lead the Tigers.
Tyler Crandall added 75 yards and two TDs rushing, caught a 25-yard pass and also returned an interception for a score early in the fourth quarter to cap the scoring.
The host Predators (0–2) jumped out to an early 8–0 lead less than a minute into the game when Logan Cauffman tossed a 35-yard touchdown to Matt Miller and Ben Jacobs cashed in the ensuing two-point conversion run.
Hillsboro (2–0) tied the game just minutes later when Tommy Crandall broke free from 55 yards out and added the conversion run to make it 8–8.
Senior fullback Warren Paulson reeled off a 66-yard TD run with 3:25 left in the half to give the Tigers a 14–8 lead going into halftime. Paulson finished the game with 75 yards on just two carries.
Kickapoo/La Farge regained the lead when Miller scored on a 43-yard run on the first drive of the second half. Cauffman hit Ryan Herkan with the conversion pass as the Predators lead 16–14.
“We started slow offensively and made several mistakes early on,” said Hillsboro head coach Eric Auel. “Defensively, they caught us off guard by playing a different offensive scheme than we were prepared for and therefore, there were some difficulties with kids aligning in the correct spots. After they scored on their initial possession, the defense settled in and played fairly well, particularly against the run.
“Offensively we made some adjustments and found some things we liked and stuck with them. Initially, Kickapoo was set on taking away the middle of the field, therefore the perimeter was open. I think the key to the win was being able to regroup and demonstrate the ability to bend and not break.”
Tyler Crandall scored on runs of 46 yards and eight yards on back-to-back drives in the third quater to give Hillsboro a 26–16 lead.
Tommy Crandall scored on a 15-yard run early in the fourth and Tyler Crandall returned an interception for six with 8:41 left in the game to account for the final score.
“It was difficult to determine some of the improvements due to the increase in competition from the opponent, however, I felt on the offensive side of the ball, we were more physical,” said Auel. “I thought our backs ran hard and the offensive line did a nice job of getting down field to make touchdown blocks. Some of our younger kids stepped in and made some contributions, Jacob Urban and James Anderson on defense, and Ben Weber, Ean Levy, and Ashton Mislivecek on offense. It was a good win.”
Hillsboro (1–0) goes on the road again this Friday for the second of three straight road games when the Tigers travel to Royall (0–2). The Panthers are coming off a 20–0 loss to Alma Center Lincoln, a team Hillsboro smashed 38–0 in the season opener on Aug. 22.