Hillsboro senior Mark Gallimore is helped off the field by teammates junior Keith Doughman, left, and sophomore Cameron Roberts (14) following the final play of the game on Friday at Williamsburg. (HCP Photo/Stephen Forsha)
Hillsboro senior Mark Gallimore is helped off the field by teammates junior Keith Doughman, left, and sophomore Cameron Roberts (14) following the final play of the game on Friday at Williamsburg. (HCP Photo/Stephen Forsha)
WILLIAMSBURG — As everyone was in a bit of a hurry as time ticked away for the Hillsboro Indians against the host Williamsburg Wildcats on Friday night, Hillsboro head coach Jack O’Rourke and his team were calm, cool and collected on a muggy evening.

Hillsboro began their final drive trailing by a 9-7 score and got to the 13-yard line of Williamsburg for a fourth down play. Instead of attempting a field goal to take a one-point lead, the Indians wanted more on the first down play … and that is exactly what they got.

On the fourth-and-7 play from the 13-yard line, a daunting run by Mark Gallimore took the Indians to the 1-yard line for a first down. The Indians then proceeded to pound their way into the end zone as the offensive line of the Tribe powered a path for quarterback Justin Spears for the 1-yard touchdown. The PAT pushed the Indians ahead by the final 14-9 score with 15 seconds left on the clock.

 




“It was a total team win tonight,” O’Rourke said. “The kids played very, very hard all night and kept going at it. We made our share of mistakes, fumbled the ball three times, and somehow we came out with a win.”

But wait … the game wasn’t over just quite yet. The Wildcats (3-1) didn’t make the game have an easy ending for the Indians — a team that was down four starters and has players powering through injuries in the second half. The Wildcats had a “final” play as they used some trickery to avoid the tackle and went downfield. Added with that, a face mask penalty led to an untimed down.

With a first-and-10 on the 21-yard line of Hillsboro, the Wildcats of Williamsburg tossed the ball to the corner of the end zone, only to have Hillsboro defensive back Kai Rickman and Gallimore break the pass up to seal the win.

As the Indians rushed to celebrate, Gallimore got up slowly, as he didn’t play until the second half as he was battling a leg injury. As Gallimore battled through the pain to stand and start to walk to his teammates, the first teammate to rush over to Gallimore was Keith Doughman, who was one of the players who switched positions from wide receiver to running back in the game.

Doughman finished the game with eight carries for 45 yards in his new role for Week 4. Unofficially, Gallimore totaled 60 yards on 12 carries and a touchdown.

The Indians trailed 9-0 at halftime and didn’t score their first touchdown until there was 8:53 left in the third off a 6-yard run by Gallimore on second down.

“We were quite hampered tonight, playing with less than our normal set of people, and we overcame it,” O’Rourke said. “That’s the thing that’s important to me. We overcame it.”

Getting to the higher score on the night proved to take basically the entire game, but it also proved to be worthwhile. The Indians had one of their leading rushers this season, Silas Simmons, at center instead of fullback, as two linemen were unable to play this week. Others also filled in on the roster, but looking back at the first half where the Indians trailed by a 9-0 score, neither Gallimore nor Simmons had a carry in the game up to that point.

“They did a good job,” O’Rourke said of the players filling it at different positions. “We practiced real hard. We tried to use our personnel the best we could. We knew we were going to have struggles tonight on offense a little bit, but we managed to get it done.”

Hillsboro trailed early on due to a 31-yard field goal off the kick of Willow Kenneda to complete the first drive of the game. The Wildcats added to their lead with 13 seconds left in the second quarter when Eddie Satterley raced 5 yards to pay dirt, around the corner of the Indians’ defense, for six points. The PAT was no good as it bounced off the goal post, leaving the Wildcats in front by a 9-0 score.

The second half was much more memorable for the Indians with the return of Gallimore to the field, and his presence lifted the Indians to another level of play, as they played like a more motivated team than they did in the first two quarters.

The first drive of the third quarter began with a run of three yards by Gallimore, followed by a crafty run by Spears, as the quarterback broke past the defense of Williamsburg for a 43-yard gain, taking the Indians from their own 33-yard line to the Wildcats’ 24-yard line.

On first down, Spears — who unofficially totaled 97 yards on 12 carries — added another seven yards to his rushing totals, and next was a 4-yard rush by Gallimore to give the Indians a first down on the Williamsburg 13-yard line. The very next play had Gallimore standing in the end zone following a six-yard run for the touchdown with 8:53 left in the third. The extra point kick was good, and the Indians were within two points of tying the Wildcats.

Williamsburg was in the process of putting together another solid drive as they began on their own 32-yard line, with runs from quarterback Loghan Kelley, Jarrett Thatcher and Braden Kelley, only to see the Wildcats fumble the football, with Hillsboro’s Spears recovering the lost ball with 5:32 left in the quarter.

The Indians returned the favor as they lost the football on a fumble as well with 1:39 remaining in the third, but from there the Wildcats had a turnover on downs as they were unable to convert a fourth-and-9 play from the HHS 24-yard line with 11:07 left in the fourth quarter.

Two punts occurred, and that left the Indians having possession of the ball with 6:31 left in regulation. The drive began on the HHS 29-yard line. What turned into the game-winning drive began with a 10-yard scamper by Gallimore, followed by a 23-yard rush from Spears with 5:51 on the clock. Next came two yards off a run from Hester and a 3-yard burst by Spears.

Gallimore followed with a 7-yard run on third down to take the Indians to the 27-yard line and a first down. A 3-yard rush by Hester and a 7-yard dash by Spears gave HHS another first down. From the 17-yard line, Gallimore had runs of one yard, two yards and no gain, with the Indians calling timeout on fourth-and-7 with 46 seconds on the clock.

HHS came out of the timeout with a 12-yard run and dive to the 1-yard line by Hester, and Spears finished the drive with a 1-yard touchdown rush with 15 seconds remaining in the game. The PAT was good, and the Indians took the lead for the first and final time of the game.

“He’s a good option-running quarterback,” O’Rourke said of Spears. “Once he gets some confidence, he does a good job.”

HHS now moves to 3-1 overall and will travel to Clermont Northeastern next Friday night.