The Washington Blue Lions began the SCOL portion of the 2016 season on a humid Friday night, Sept. 16 at Gardner Park against the Hillsboro Indians.
The Blue Lions built a nice lead in this league lid-lifter, only to watch Hillsboro fight back and make it a nail-biter.
Washington won the game, 35-33, improving to 4-0 on the season.
Hillsboro is now 1-3 overall on the year.
“We jumped out to a lead,” Washington head coach Chuck Williamson said. “We got some guys banged up, but, we fought through it and got the win. You’ve got to be able to win the close ones and tonight we found a way to win.
“There was no quit in that team,” Williamson said, speaking of Hillsboro. “They kept fighting and kept fighting. They earned our respect. They played hard.
“I love our guys,” Williamson said. “They just continue to find a way to win. I couldn’t be prouder of them.”
The Blue Lions scored twice in the first quarter, once on an 8-yard pass from Jarett Patton to Dillon Steward and moments later, another Patton pass, this time to Kory Proby that went for 56 yards.
Extra point kicks by Alex Trombold gave the Blue Lions a 14-0 lead with 5:05 to play in the first quarter.
Hillsboro scored on a 2-yard run by Luke Gallimore to cut the lead to 14-7 with the kick by Britton Haines.
The teams exchanged scores as the game moved into the second quarter.
The Blue Lions scored on a 12-yard run by Jacob Rice.
Hillsboro responded with a 4-yard run by Gallimore that made it 21-13. (The extra-point kick was blocked.)
Washington scored with just tenths of a second to play in the half on a 2-yard pass from Patton to Steward.
In the third quarter, Washington scored first, with 8:15 to play on a 15-yard run by Jacob Rice.
Trailing 35-13, Hillsboro began a tremendous comeback effort.
Devon Gallimore scored on a 4-yard run with 3:55 to play in the third quarter. The try for two points was no good.
With 10:06 to play in the fourth quarter, Hillsboro quarterback Hunter Chain hooked up with Sajoun Jones for a 72-yard scoring play. The two-point conversion was good, making the score 35-27.
Finally, with 58 seconds to play in the game, Chain hit Brian Smith for a 21-yard touchdown play.
That made the score 35-33.
Hillsboro went for two points again, but the attempt failed, as the Blue Lions survived a strong challenge and the Indians came up just short.
Washington will have its Homecoming game next week against East Clinton.
Reach Chris Hoppes at 740-335-3611, ext. 1104, or on Twitter @choppes1