Looking to continue its run toward the playoffs, Hillsboro got off to a running start Friday night while sailing to a Region 6-5A victory.
The Burros scored 41 first-half points on their way to a 48-0 victory over Hunters Lane to move one step closer to clinching a postseason berth.
De’Andre Alexander had touchdown runs of 75 and 10 yards, and also hauled in a 33-yard TD pass from quarterback Daylon Murphy for the Burros (5-3, 4-1 Region 6-5A), who rolled up 288 yards of total offense in the first half. The second half was played with a running clock under TSSAA rules.
Murphy finished 7-of-11 passing for 174 yards and two touchdowns. Malique Fleming had two catches for 103 yards, including a 65-yard touchdown reception.
“A lot of coaches kind of wait until the playoffs to push their teams hard — but I usually start a little earlier than that,” Hillsboro coach Craig Clayton said with a smile. “I felt like we had been in a little bit of a funk the last two weeks, so we wanted to come out tonight and have a really good performance.”
That mission was accomplished in convincing fashion, as the Burros scored touchdowns on five of their six possessions in the first half. The Hillsboro defense also accounted for a touchdown when Josh Laster picked off a pass and returned it 55 yards for a score in the final minute of the first half.
“Hillsboro came out tonight like they had something to prove, and I didn’t think we really gave them much resistance, to be honest,” Hunters Lane coach Thomas McPhail said. “They were able to do a lot of things that we’d seen them do on film. They executed really well.”
The Hillsboro defense continuously found its way into Hunter’s Lane’s backfield, and limited the Warriors to minus-7 rushing yards in the first half.
Jeremy Hill scored Hillsboro’s first touchdown on a 34-yard run less than three minutes into the game, and Alexander caught a 33-yard TD pass from Murphy late in the quarter to give the Burros a quick 14-0 lead. Hillsboro then pulled away with a second quarter which included three touchdowns in the final 3:45.
Randolph Wilkerson started the scoring flurry with a one-yard run, followed by Fleming’s 65-yard catch from Murphy with 1:34 left in the half. Laster closed the first-half scoring with his interception return to give the Burros a 41-0 lead.
“Even when we got the big lead, we just stuck with what we were doing and stayed focused,” said Alexander, who finished with 93 rushing yards on just four carries and had two catches for 41 yards.