For the third time this season, Hillsboro players, coaches, parents, and fans were forced to accept the inevitable; if the team Hillsboro is facing has superior speed in its receiving corps and in its defensive secondary, it will be a long night experience-wise but a short night time-wise as the host, Carlinville Cavaliers, quick-clocked the Toppers 42-8 in football action Friday night, Sept. 10.
Carlinville scored quickly and often while building a 42-0 halftime lead. Again Hillsboro showed its youth by making crucial mistakes at key times, with those mistakes being compounded as the score mounted. The Toppers continued to play hard and with enthusiasm, to their credit; but the Cavies speed, particularly at wide receiver, overwhelmed them.
The Cavies kicked to Hillsboro to start the game; on the third play from scrimmage, one of the quick culprits intercepted a Topper pass on his 45. Ethan Siglock, a 6’1’’ senior, returned the swiped pass 19 yards into Hillsboro territory, then cheered as quarterback Ayden Tiburzi fired a 27 yard touchdown pass to fellow senior Carson Wiser. When Mason Duckels added the extra point, the Cavies were ahead 7-0 less than two minutes into the context.
Tiburzi connected on 11 of the 13 passes he threw, all in the first half; Wiser had 4 catches for 97 yards and two tds while Siglock had three catches for 111 yards and a td. Duckels also had a td reception and made all six conversion kicks he attempted.
It was Siglock’s turn to score next. The Toppers, with Blaze Helton carrying the ball six of seven times, reached the Cavie 32; Blaine Stewart then fought his way to the 25, but a holding call made the drive hard to sustain. Facing a third and five, the Toppers fumbled the ball away on the Cavie 16. On the next play from scrimmage, Tiburzi found Siglock slanting through the Topper secondary; the pass, catch, and run covered 84 yards as the distance between Siglock and the pursuit widened perceptively. 6:35 had passed when Carlinville’s lead expanded to 14-0.
Perhaps a bit anxious to score, the Toppers gambled after the ensuing kickoff. Jaben Compton returned the bouncing kickoff from his 30 to midfield. Stewart (5) and Helton (3) had Hillsboro facing a third and two on the Cavie 42, but their defense stopped the Toppers twice for no gain to own the ball again. An incomplete pass and a procedure penalty gave Topper fans hope, but it was snatched away as Tiburzi found a different receiver, junior Henry Kufa, for a 22 yard gain and a first down at Hillsboro’s 41.
Wiser caught a toss into the flat, but a holding call put the ball on the Topper 48. Looking at a first down and 20, the Cavies’ decision was to go for it all; Wiser caught the pass and scored easily. Soon it was 21-0 with 2:49 to play in the first quarter. At least one Topper fan thought, “Well, this is as bad as it will get tonight.” I was wrong.
The first Topper punt came early in the second quarter. (Magnus Wells, who has been the kickoff man since he was a sophomore, assumed punting duties, at least for last Friday). Wells boomed a kick for 41 yards, but Siglock returned it to the Topper 45, where Wells had to make the tackle. Six plays later Tiburzi found Duckels in the end zone; his PAT made it 28-0.
The blood was in the water then, and the Cavies, like sharks, were after it. Topper quarterback Zane Duff was dropped for losses on connective carries, and a third down pass was nearly intercepted. This time Siglock’s punt return was blunted by an illegal block call, and Carlinville’s line of scrimmage was their own 15.
No problem; Tiburzi passed for 15 (to Wiser),and then turned to a different weapon as back Mason Patton ripped off a 52 yard gain to the Topper 18. The next play, a Tiburzi to Siglock pass, raised the score to 34-0. The conversion made it 35, and an unsportsmanlike call on the Toppers meant Carlinville would kick off from the Topper 45.
Disaster struck one last time; Cavalier Ryenn Hart recovered a short kick on the Topper 31. Two plays later Tiburzi scampered through a Topper defense expecting a pass to score from the 30; Duckels powered the PAT through with 3:56 to play in the first half. The quick clock would begin with the second-half kickoff.
Hillsboro escaped shut out status by scoring on their last possession of the game. After a quarterback sack gave Hillsboro the ball on downs at the Topper 34, runs by Stewart (6), Joe Keiser (14), and Duff (12) gave Helton the room he needed to score. He carried a pitch right to the Cavie 28, then scored on a pitch left. Blaine Stewart added the extra points.
Carlinville is now 2-1 in the season, 1-1 in the conference. Their only loss was a cliff-hanger in Vandalia the first night of the season. The Vandals will be here for the Homecoming Game this Friday, Sept. 17.
Sept. 10 at Carlinville
Hillsboro (0-3) 0 0 0 8 8
Carlinville (2-1) 21 21 0 0 42
1st - 10:06 - (C) - Carson Wiser 22-yard TD reception from Ayden Tiburzi (Mason Duckels kick)
1st - 5:25 - (C) - Ethan Siglock 84-yard TD reception from Ayden Tiburzi (Mason Duckels kick)
1st - 2:49 - (C) - Carson Wiser 48-yard TD reception from Ayden Tiburzi (Mason Duckels kick)
2nd - 7:06 - (C) - Mason Duckles 5-yard TD reception from Ayden Tiburzi (Mason Duckels kick)
2nd - 4:37 - (C) - Ethan Siglock 18-yard pass from Ayden Tiburzi (Mason Duckels kick)
2nd - 3:56 - (C) - Ayden Tiburzi 30-yard run (Mason Duckels kick)
4th - 2:30 - (H) - Blaze Helton 28-yard run (Blaine Stewart 2pt. run)
Passing (2-9-23): Zane Duff 2-9-23, 2 INT.
Rushing (41-222): Blaze Helton 19-119, 1 TD; Joe Keiser 5-69; Blaine Stewart 8-24; Zane Duff 9-10.
Receiving (2-23): Blaine Stewart 1-17; Jace Stewart 1-6.
Defense (Solo/Assist): Reese Morford 4/1; Blaze Helton 5/0, 1 sack); Joe Keiser 3/0; Blaine Stewart 2/0; Ian Malloy 2/1; Jaben Compton 2/1; Cameron Hacke 1/1; Magnus Wells 1/1; Brayden Fowler 1/0; Garrett Schaake 1/0.