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Tribe tackles Gallia in 35-34 thriller at RMF

Lead Summary
RICHARDS MEMORIAL FIELD – There’s no place like home, thus far for the Hillsboro Indians. Coach Brian Spicer’s men are two for two in home games, following a thrilling, 35-34 win over the Gallia Academy Blue Devils on Sept. 4.
    Hillsboro (2-0) overcame a 7-0 first-quarter deficit to post its second straight. Gallia’s Jared Golden scored from nine yards out on the opening drive at the 7:42 mark and the point after gave the Blue Devils an early advantage.
    On the ensuing possession, the Indians drove the ball against the Gallia defense on a mix of running plays featuring running back Airic Steagall and quarterback Aric Carroll.  
    A pass from Carroll to Dow Kiefer at the 5:50 point, gave Hillsboro a first down at the Devils' 21. Matt Gallimore carried for four more yards and the Indians were quickly inside the red zone. After a penalty on the Indians, Carroll connected with Gallimore to reach the 16-yard line, leaving a fourth and five. Hillsboro elected to go for it, but the pass play came up short.
    Gallia’s second possession ended abruptly when Hillsboro’s defensive lineman Jorden Stratton recovered a fumble.
    Early in the second period, Carroll bulldozed a quarterback-keeper into the end zone to put Hillsboro on the board with 10:48 left in the half. The conversion failed, though, and the Blue Devils held on to a 7-6 lead.
    The game’s early competitiveness would set the tone for the night, as the two teams battled back and forth.
    Gallia marched downfield on its next possession, capped by a Jared Gravely touchdown run. Joe Jenkins connected on the extra point and the Devils were up, 14-6.
    Spicer opened up the offense on the next possession, as Carroll and Dawson Barreras played a little pitch-and-catch against the Gallia defense. After Steagall returned the kickoff to the Hillsboro 32, Carroll immediately found Barreras for a 13-yard pickup. Mason Hunick then rushed for 10 yards and another first down. Gallimore added a two-yard gain, then Carroll fired another completion to Barreras.
    Consecutive five-yard runs by Carroll and Steagall set up a first and goal. The series was capped off when Carroll found Barreras wide open in the end zone for the TD. Hillsboro put the ball in Carroll’s hands for a quarterback sneak and the two-point conversion evened the game at 14-14 with 2:46 to play in the half. But Hillsboro wasn't quite through.
    Just as the marching band and some hungry fans readied for halftime, Gallimore pounced on a Gallia fumble at midfield and the Indians' offense had one more shot before halftime. They took advantage of it, too. A quick strike from Carroll to Steagall netted 48 yards and a first and goal. After a timeout, Carroll pushed the ball to inside the one-yard line.
    Steagall then banged it in for six and another Hillsboro touchdown. The extra point put the Indians on top, 21-14.
Gallia’s final possession of the half was stopped by strong Hillsboro tackling on successive plays by Chase Gilliland, Dawson Barreras and Zane Yankie.
    Stratton recovered a fumble at the 0:34 mark and the half came to a close with Hillsboro up by seven.
    Gallia regained the lead in the second half, mounting a serious challenge with a six-point lead, 34-28, with less than six minutes remaining.
    The Indians then embarked on a time-consuming, 75-yard scoring drive which culminated in a six-yard touchdown run by Steagall.
    Zach Fleming came up big under pressure, connecting on the game-winning extra point.
    “I thought we had a good, total team effort against Gallia,” HHS head coach Brian Spicer said. “We faced adversity in the game. We battled back and got the win.”  [[In-content Ad]]

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