Grant Jefferies was crowned Hillsboro 2013 Homecoming King Saturday night.
One night earlier, the senior quarterback threw a pair of touchdown passes to lead the Tigers to a 34–20 victory, ensuring this year’s Homecoming was one worth celebrating.
Jefferies was held to just 13 yards rushing on seven carries, but he connected with sophomore Max Stockwell for a pair of scoring strikes.
“The key to the win was ball security,” said Hillsboro head coach Eric Auel. “We had no fumbles and one pick. Also, they put 10 guys in the box and we hit Max Stockwell on two fades in the end zone.
“Defensively we were called for way too many penalties, nearly 100 yards, but the defense was resilient and made plays when it had to.”
Senior Max Sebranek rushed for a game-high 133 yards, including a 54-yard touchdown run in the first quarter that answered Jacob Harter’s 12-yard touchdown run on Cashton’s opening drive and gave the Tigers a 7–6 advantage.
Senior halfback Matt Bartels scored on a 10-yard run a minute into the second quarter, and exchange student and junior Homecoming rep Moa Jillefors converted the extra point for a 14–6 lead.
Harter scored on a 6-yard run with 2:47 left in the first half to pull the visiting Eagles within a point, but Jefferies engineered one final scoring drive in the opening half, culminating in his 2-yard TD pass Stockwell.
Hillsboro led 19–12 at the half.
Cashton quarterback Brandon Schmitz scored on a 1-yard plunge late in the third quarter, then gave the Eagles a slim 20–19 lead when he added the two-point conversion run.
But Hillsboro wouldn’t be denied.
Senior halfback Brandon Stanek scored on a 28-yard run three minutes into the fourth quarter as the Tigers regained the lead at 26–20.
Then Jefferies put the final nail in the coffin when he hit Stockwell with a 15-yard TD pass with 1:50 remaining. Jillefors converted her fourth extra point of the night in five tries to account for the final score.
The Hillsboro defense allowed 228 yards rushing, but held Cashton to just 3 yards passing on 1 of 11, and forced five turnovers in the game, including interceptions by Stanek and Bartels.
Senior Homecoming representative Brock Borchardt led the Tigers with 12.5 tackles, and fellow senior Matt Anderson was close behind with 12.
“The team is playing better every week and even though we lacked the intensity we showed the two weeks prior, we executed fairly well,” said Auel. “We still need to be get better at tackling in the open field, feeling the pressure of a double team on defense, and sustaining more aggressive blocking in the interior on offense.”
Hillsboro snapped a two-game losing streak with the win and improved to 4–2 overall and 2–2 in the SBC. Cashton fell to 2–4, 1–2.
Hillsboro will travel to league-leading New Lisbon (5–1, 4–0 SBC) this Friday.