One of the few key holdovers from Hillsboro’s march to the 4A state football championship has, for one game at least, reminded them of the old days and took the Burros one more step into November.
Senior quarterback Greg Young performed at championship level last Friday, leading the Burros to a hectic 20-17 overtime victory over Glencliff Friday and shattering the Colts’ Cinderella slipper.
After Glencliff had taken a 17-14 lead in overtime, Hillsboro Coach Dennis Moreno simply went over to Young and said, “go ahead and win it for us right here.’’
Following instructions, Young, on first down from the 10, slipped through a tackle and suddenly found himself running toward victory. He made a mad dash around the right side and dove into the end zone for his third TD of the game.
Exuberant Hillsboro players, who haven’t had much to cheer about in a 3-7 regular season, streamed onto the field in celebration.
Young went over to console Glencliff players in their post-game gathering, then came back to receive some more hugs from teammates.
“It was all due to the line blocking, I deserve very little credit,’’ Young said. “After I got through the line, I saw only the safety between me and the goal, and I dove and made it.’’
The final few minutes was a huge roller coaster of events for Young. His off-balance throw from the end zone had resulted in a gift six-yard TD by defensive back Montez Brown with just 3:54 left for a 14-7 Colt lead.
“It was a dumb play. I was trying desperately not to get a safety and I threw off my back foot,’’ he said of the interception. “But we got a great kickoff return, and the line blocked great for us to get back down the field.’’ His second TD and Ryne Spicer’s clutch extra point tied it with just 1:27 left, setting up Young’s heroics.
“I had to clear the bad play out of my mind, stay calm and re-focus,’’ Young said. “It’s very true what a coach told me — you have to hate losing more than you love winning, and that’s how I felt.’’
“We had very hard time early on when we started 0-2 with a new coaching staff and bunch of injuries,’’ Moreno said. “We had to throw some guys off the team who were not into what we were trying to accomplish.
“We had a coaches meeting, put in a new defense, and changed some of our schemes,’’ he said.
Next up for Hillsboro are some feisty Lions out of Columbia, with their best team in years, who host the Burros Friday night in the second round.
Incidentally, Oak Ridge and ex-Hillsboro Coach Scott Blade lost their 6A playoff opener to McMinn County, 12-7.
Cinderella season ends: Despite two defensive TDs, a 50-yard punt return and a Brown’s interception return, Glencliff’s best season since 2003 came to an end at 5-6.
“It’s very hard,’’ said second year coach Scott Murray, who has coached at Smith County under Gary Rankin, also an assistant at Riverdale and Beech. “This team worked hard and found ways to win. I knew we couldn’t keep a great player like Young down for long, guys like that will find some way to win.’’
Senior defensive tackle Kennedy Emebunor had four tackles, a sack, a caused fumble and fumble recovery for the Colts in the final game of his high school career.
Hall of Champions Games: There are several Hall of Champions and pre-season games around the area next week: They include: Goodpasture hosting FRA Nov. 17 and Lipscomb Nov. 19, Lebanon at Independence Nov. 17. St. Cecilia hosting Ensworth and JPI Nov. 19-20, USN hosting NCS and Centennial Nov. 17 and 20.
Lipscomb opens its regular season at Ryan Nov. 21.
Hillsboro’s Crouch to sign: Hillsboro High star forward LaKeisha Crouch, who helped lead the Burros to the AAA state title last March, will sign her national letter of intent with Xavier (Ohio) on Wednesday, 11:30 a.m. in the school library.
Hillsboro has been invited to compete in the Nike Tournament of Champions in Phoenix, Ariz., as well as the T-Mobile Invitational, both in December.
Middle School Championship: Perennial champion J.T. Moore will meet Smithson-Craighead Academy for the Metro Middle School football championship Thursday at 5 p.m. at Hunters Lane High.
Moore, which is going for its seventh title in eight years, had won six in a row (2002-07) until Goodlettsville upset the Matadors in last year’s final. In the semis last week, Moore edged Bailey 18-14, and Smithson-Craighead crushed Caldwell 40-8.
MBA-Ensworth showdown: MBA staged a 47-point turnaround in its 45-10 DII opening round playoff win over BGA. Michael Moore, who rushed for 284 yards for in a 26-14 earlier Wildcat win, had but 55 Friday. He finished with 1,397 for the season.
Next up for MBA is a quarterfinal showdown Friday at rival Ensworth (9-0) which handed the Big Red (7-4) a 50-21 loss Sept. 4. Star TB Orleans Darkwa is likely back for the Tigers.
Overton’s Humphrey: Overton TB Tez Humphrey was held to 64 yards rushing in Overton’s 34-14 loss to Franklin. He wound up his junior season with a 1,312 total and 23 TDs as Overton ended 8-3.
Cross Country: MBA won the DII boys team title for the third time, while ML King repeated as A/AA boys champion in the state cross country meet Saturday at Percy Warner Park. Alex Smith placed 23rd as the highest MBA finisher. Ryan Graves placed second for MLK. Lipscomb finished third. Ensworth placed second behind Baylor in DII girls. Lipscomb’s Barbara Lee Ball placed second in the A/AA girls race. Hume-Fogg was third, Lipscomb fifth in A/AA. USN’s Avi Bregman placed second in DII-A boys.
Soccer: Franklin lost to Houston High 3-2 in the finals of the AAA state soccer tournament in Chattanooga Saturday. The Rebels (19-4) were the only Nashville area team to reach the finals.