HILLSBORO — Brandon and Jeff Zimmerman sparked East Clinton to an emotional 28-7 win over Hillsboro Friday night at Richards Memorial Field.
After learning of their mother’s death early Friday morning, the two returned to the team and helped the Astros defeat the Indians.
“I don’t know if I could have done what they did,” EC head coach Steven Olds said. “I could not be more proud of Jeff and Brandon and how they handled themselves during this tough time.”
Brandon Zimmerman returned a blocked field goal 83 yards for a touchdown and just a few plays later Jeff Zimmerman recovered a fumble that led to an EC touchdown. The Astros went from down 7-0 to up 12-7 and never looked back.
“It felt early on like things were not going to go our way,” said Olds. “Hillsboro had a good game plan and was able to hold the ball for most of the first half. Even after Brandon’s block and score, we still had to overcome a couple adverse situations to secure the win. For the most part, we got some breaks that we definitely would not have gotten early in the year.”
The first big play came in the second quarter as Hillsboro, already up 7-0, was looking to make it 10-0. But the blocked kick resulted in a loose ball and Zimmerman scooped it up and went the distance with 3:24 to play in the first half.
Up to that point, the East Clinton offense had turned the ball over twice and failed to produce points on just six plays.
“It certainly changed the momentum of the game,” Olds said.
On the next Hillsboro drive, Jeff Zimmerman recovered a fumble near midfield. With 57 seconds left in the half, Branson Smith hauled in a long pass from Jared Smith for a 38-yard touchdown. Though the two-point conversion failed, East Clinton led 12-7 at halftime.
The Astros scored once in the third (Jared Smith 5 yard run) and once in the fourth (Glenn Peacock 9 yard run) to close out the win. The drive resulting in Smith’s scoring run was highlighted by a 61-yard pass play from Smith to Landon Runyon.
The win puts East Clinton at 3-5. The McClain Tigers are scheduled to visit Lees Creek 7 p.m. Friday for a Week 9 game. The Astros are scheduled to play Southeastern in Week 10.
Oct. 16, 2020
@Richards Memorial Field
East Clinton 28, Hillsboro 7
H-Canaan Griffith 41 yard pass from Chris Stout (Nick Turner PAT) 5:02
EC-Brandon Zimmerman 83 yard blocked field goal return (PAT failed) 3:24
EC-Branson Smith 38 yard pass from Jared Smith (2 pt failed) 57.2
EC-Jared Smith 5 yard run (Jared Smith pass to Branson Smith) 10:06
EC-Glenn Peacock 9 yard run (Jared Smith to Jaden Singleton) 10:07
Passing: Jared Smith 6-13-2, 134 yards 1 touchdown
Rushing: Jared Smith 14-75-1, Glenn Peacock 7-22-1, Kaleb Kingery 1-0-0
Receiving; Landon Runyon 2-68-0, Branson Smith 2-41-1, Trenton Garen 1-22-0, Jaden Singleton 1-3-0
Sacks: Chris Norman 1, Phillip Davis 1
Fumble recoveries: Jeff Zimmerman 1
Interceptions: Branson Smith 1