Hillsboro no less important now
Despite the fact that it had no playoff ramification whatsoever, when the Rockdale football team made the trip up IH35 to face an unknow n Hillsboro team last season, it became the most important game of the season.
Wallowing in a four-game losing streak, the Tigers needed a victory in the worst way.
The return of starting quarterback Ethan Brinkley and a spark ling per formance from Elijah Brooks fueled a second half comeback and allowed the Tigers to break free of the four- game slide.
This year’s homecoming game is no less important as the Tigers try to stack up two wins in a row.
Hillsboro (2-3) is coming off a 33-14 loss to Class A Hico after winning two straight against Hamilton and Clifton.
The Eagles were 1-9 last season and haven’t made the playoffs in 11 years and have won only seven games in last five years.
“Last year we worked on just not quitting,” said Hillsboro Coach Mike Palmer, who came out of retirement last season to try and right the Eagles’ ship. “This year we’re looking to have that killer instinct in the second half. We were in so many games at halftime and we’d have a penalty or a turnover after that and that would be it.”
That was certainly the case last season against Rockdale when the Eagles took a 12-7 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Only a 246-yard, three-touchdown effort from Brooks saved the Tigers from a back breaking setback in a 27-15 win.
Hillsboro has switched to the flexbone from the spread offense which relies heavily on their ground attack.
Running back Ricky Williams accounted for 115 of the Eagles’ 127 yards of total offense on the ground against Hico.
Hillsboro certainly has a player on their roster who is a candidate for the all-name team: senior wide receiver King David Mojica.
• Belton-transfer Brent Drummond was knocked out in the third quarter after grabbing a pass and moving it to the two-yard line where he was forced out of bounds on the far side of the field. The helmet-to-helmet collision could be heard all the way across the field. The Smithville team doctor took a look at him and he will miss this week’s game. The first thing he wanted to know when he came to was, “Did I score?” Drummond turned in his best game with three catches for 30 yards.
• Ramsey Zinn did not suit out against Smithville with a hyper-extended knee, but the senior center is expected to be back in the starting lineup Friday. Defensive lineman Kristian White is still questionable with a high ankle sprain. Tyler Prazak is out with a groin injury. Starter Dedrick Page is still out with a broken foot. Derek Whitsel has a deep thigh bruise and is questionable.
• Pudgy Burgess was limited to one catch for one yard but kept his top spot as the leading receiver in District 18-3A with 30 catches for 390 yards. Teammate Pearce Loth follows with 28 for 493. Each has three touchdowns.
• In the same vein, Tiger quarterback
Clayton Gibbs leads the league in passing with 1,285 yards and nine touchdowns.
• Defensive back LaDontice Coates led the Tigers in tackling Friday with 10. Coates is tied with James David for the team lead on the season with 38.
• Navasota finally played a legitimate team in Fairfield and had their hat handed to them 44-24 on the road. It snapped the Rattlers’ 20-game win streak. Fairfield improved to 5-0. Entering the game, Navasota had allowed just seven points in four teams with a combined record of 3-11.
LINEMAN OF THE WEEK