Senior fullback Warren Paulson rushed for 129 yards and three touchdowns, and junior Tommy Crandall returned a blocked punt for a score to power Hillsboro to a 28–0 Scenic Bluffs shutout of visiting Brookwood Friday night.
The Tigers have now won back-to-back games after a frustrating three-game losing streak.
Hillsboro improved to 5–3 overall and 3–3 in the SBC and is now in position to earn a 13th straight playoff berth with a win at struggling Wonewoc–Center (1–7, 1–5) in Friday’s regular season finale for both teams.
The Wolves are licking their wounds after a 63–6 loss to league-leading Bangor (8–0, 6–0) last Friday night.
Hillsboro has made the playoffs every year since the WIAA expanded to seven divisions in 2002.
Paulson powered Friday’s shutout of Brookwood from the get go. The senior scored from a yard out early in the first quarter. Matt Stekel’s extra point made it 7–0.
Paulson scored on a 3-yard run midway through the second quarter to make it 14–0.
Late in the first half Hillsboro added to its lead when Paulson broke free for a 39-yard touchdown run to make it 20–0 with 2:08 left in the half.
Hillsboro tacked on its final eight points when Crandall recovered a blocked punt for a touchdown two minutes into the second half. Paulson added the two-point conversion to account for the final score.
The rest of the second half was a defensive battle as neither team managed a sustained drive the rest of the way.
Hillsboro outgained Brookwood 222–205 on the night.
Paulson rushed for 129 of the Tigers’ 214 yards on the ground on a team-high 17 carries.
Stekel, Hillsboro’s senior quarterback, added 50 yards on nine rushes. Crandall added 24 yards on three carries.
Jack Hansen led Brookwood with 77 yards on 12 carries.
The Hillsboro defense held the Falcons to just 64 yards passing on 6 of 22 attempts and picked of Jaden Havlik twice and sacked the Brookwood QB three times.
Crandall finished with eight tackles, including a sack and two tackles for loss to lead the Hillsboro defense. Hunter Stanek made seven tackles. Ethan Thorson and Sebastian Miller had interceptions for the Tigers.