HILLSBORO – In a match-up of former South Central Ohio League rivals, Hillsboro got off to a fast start, weathered lightning delays and defeated East Clinton 49-0 Friday night at Richards Memorial Field.
The Astros are now 0-3 on the year while the Indians, under former Blanchester High School head coach Jack O’Rourke, improve to 3-0.
Josh Keets capped a 67-yard all-rushing opening drive with a powerful 33-yard run to the end zone for a 6-0 HHS lead at the 10:37 mark of the first quarter.
East Clinton fumbled its first offensive snap and Hillsboro’s Max Conover recovered. Four plays later – all Deon Burns bruising runs – the Indians were in the red zone.
With the ball at the 1, Hillsboro had to wait to score when Mother Nature stepped into the mix causing lightning delays or more than an hour.
When play resumed, Mason Swayne scored from a yard out and it was 12-0 with 6:58 to go in the first quarter.
East Clinton fumbled again and Luke Middleton recovered. That led to another Keets TD and the rout was on. 18-0 with 6:11 to play in the opening period.
East Clinton had three more turnovers, all interceptions, as the Indians defense was swarming on the damp turf. With the score 49-0 at halftime, there was a shortened intermission of 3:00 and the third and fourth quarters were reduced to 8:00 instead of 12:00. In addition it was a running clock because of the margin.
Ryan Applegate is the sports editor of the Times-Gazette in Hillsboro.