BANGOR — Andrew Piske’s 7-yard touchdown run with 1:45 remaining proved to be the game-winner as Bangor came back to defeat visiting Hillsboro 30–26 in the final minutes of a Scenic Bluffs Conference football game last Friday night.
Hillsboro picked up eight yards on a first down run, a penalty, a fumble forced fourth-and-long with less than a minute left. The Tigers’ final offensive play of the night came up two yards short of a first down, and Bangor killed the clock to preserve the victory.
The Cardinals began the game-winning drive with less than 4:30 remaining in the game.
Bangor drove 30 yards into Hillsboro territory. The Tigers had a chance to clinch the victory on 4th-and-7, but Bangor’s Caleb Miller completed a 10-yard pass to Andrew Lockington.
A few plays later the Cardinals picked up 15 yards and another first down on a Hillsboro late hit out of bounds.
Moments later Piske scored the game-winner. Miller added the two-point conversion run to account for the final score.
“We made many elemental mistakes offensively and defensively with blown blocking assignments, misalignment on defense and missed defensive responsibilities on occasion,” said Hillsboro head coach Eric Auel. “We took a step backward with ball security and gave Bangor too many opportunities.
“Bangor also had difficulty with ball security, however. It was a fairly evenly played game. Rushing, passing, scoring, and turnovers were consistent between both teams. The difference was post-touchdown conversions.”
Both teams scored four touchdowns in the game, but Bangor converted on three of its four two-point conversion attempts.
Hillsboro took a 6–0 lead on Jefferies 1-yard TD run with 6:17 left in the opening quarter.
Bangor tied the game with a 6-yard touchdown run by Dylan Campbell with 1:00 left in the first.
After a Hillsboro fumble, the Cardinals cashed in with a 36-yard TD run by Lockington. Miller’s conversion run made it 14–6.
But Hillsboro rallied to take a 20–14 halftime lead with a pair of second-quarter touchdown runs.
Matt Bartels scored on a 29-yard scamper with 10 minutes left in the half and Grant Jefferies converted the conversion pass to Max Stockwell to tie the game.
Fullback Max Sebranek broke loose for a 45-yard score a few minutes later.
Bangor tied the game a minute into the fourth quarter on a Piske 1-yard touchdown run. Miller’s second two-point conversion run of the game made it 22–20.
Hillsboro took one final lead with 4:35 remaining when Brandon Stanek scored on a 45-yard run, but Jefferies conversion pass was incomplete making it 26–22 and setting the stage for Bangor’s game-winning drive.
The Cardinals improved to 4–1 overall and 2–1 in the SBC.
Hillsboro fell to 3–2, 1–2. The Tigers will host Cashton (2–3, 1–2) for Homecoming this Friday night at 7 p.m.
“We felt we could be 5–0 at this point, but also feel we could be 1–4,” said Auel. “It’s a very competitive year and we have to take each game as they come and play one play at a time. The focus this week is not to be distracted by Homecoming activities and focus on our Friday night job. We feel we can be in every game the remainder of the season.”