Hillsboro’s touchdown twins, Tyler and Tommy Crandall, combined for 299 yards rushing and four touchdowns as the Tigers dominated visiting Royall, 37-6, on Senior Night Oct. 16.
Tyler rushed for 179 yards and a pair of scores on 12 carries, while Tommy added 120 yards and two TDs on nine attempts.
Tyler Crandall broke loose for an 80-yard TD run midway through the first quarter to make it 6–0.
Royall scored its only touchdown of the game a few minutes later when Adrian Reneau returned an interception for a touchdown.
Tommy Crandall scored from 23 yards out on Hillsboro’s next drive and Joe Helgerson completed the two-point conversion pass to make it 14–6.
The Tigers struggled offensively the rest of the half, but made the necessary halftime adjustments.
Tyler Crandall scored from six yards out on Hillsboro’s first drive of the second half.
The next time the Tigers got the ball, Tommy Crandall ripped off a 73-yard TD run and the rout was on.
Senior Max Stockwell added a 16-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter to complete the scoring.
“We struggled a bit in the first half taking care of the first level due to heavy blitzing, but were able to make some adjustments and get the ball outside,” said Hillsboro head coach Eric Auel. “Defensively, we played pretty well all night. Their only score was off of our offense.
“It’s good to get some momentum off of the last few weeks to carry us into the playoffs. Sometimes being able to gel at the right time is the best thing to happen to a team. It’s very tough to go undefeated during a long and physical season.”
Hillsboro finished the regular season 7–2 and tied for second place in the Scenic Bluffs Conference at 4–2 with Brookwood.
The Tigers earned the fourth-seed in their eight-team regional and a first-round home game.
Preview: DeSoto known for physical style of play
Hillsboro will host De Soto (7–2) this Friday at 7 p.m.
The Pirates finished second in the Ridge & Valley Conference at 5–1 after a 69–0 blowout of Wauzeka/Seneca last Friday.
“De Soto is about as versatile of a team as we have seen this season,” said Auel. “They are fairly balanced offensively and have a good mix of size, strength, and athleticism. Defensively they appear pretty stout against the run and big pressure against the pass.
“They have a rich tradition in football and are always well known for their physical style of play. They have played one other triple option team in the regular season and therefore have some experience in dealing with our style of offense.”
Junior running back Austin Anderson leads De Soto in rushing with 573 yards and seven touchdowns on 122 carries.
Senior quarterback Jeff Alton has rushed for 573 yards and 7 TDs, while completing 40 of 95 passes for 597 yards and seven more touchdowns.
Ben Rice is the Pirates’ leading receiver with 12 receptions for 247 yards and five TDs.
“We have to be disciplined on defense because they utilize a variety of formations and styles of attack,” said Auel. “Tackling in the open field will be critical. Offensively, we need to minimize careless mistakes, take care of the football, and communicate up front on the offensive line. We will need to be the more physical team, sustain blocks longer, and take what the defense gives us.”
On the injury front, senior offensive lineman Nolan Hammer has been cleared to play after he suffered a fracture in his leg during Week 2.
He practiced in full pads for the first time since the injury Monday afternoon.