by Ron Deabenderfer
For the third time this season, Hillsboro players, coaches, parents and fans have been forced to accept the inevitable; if the team Hillsboro faces has top speed in their receiving body and defensive secondary, it will be a long night of experience but a short night as host Carlinville Cavaliers quickly timed the Toppers 42 -8 in football action Friday evening September 10.
Carlinville scored quickly and often while taking a 42-0 lead at halftime. Once again, Hillsboro showed their youth by making crucial mistakes at key moments, with those mistakes getting worse as the score climbed. The Toppers continued to play hard and with enthusiasm, to their credit; but the Cavies speed, especially on the wide receiver, overwhelmed them.
The Cavies kicked Hillsboro to start the game; in the third play of the scrum, one of the quick culprits intercepted a pass from Topper on his 45. Ethan Siglock, a 6’1 ” senior, returned the slipped 19-yard pass into Hillsboro territory, then applauded as quarterback Ayden Tiburzi pulled a 27 yard touchdown pass to fellow senior Carson Wiser. When Mason Duckels added the extra point, the Cavies were leading 7-0 under two minutes in context.
Tiburzi connected on 11 of the 13 passes he threw, all in the first half; Wiser had 4 catches for 97 yards and two tds while Siglock had three catches for 111 yards and one td. Duckels also had a td reception and made all six conversion kicks he attempted.
It was Siglock’s turn to score next. The Toppers, with Blaze Helton carrying the ball six times out of seven, reached the Cavie 32; Blaine Stewart then made his way to the 25th, but a waiting call made the drive difficult to maintain. Facing a third and five, the Toppers ditched the ball on the Cavie 16. In the next scrimmage play, Tiburzi found Siglock slanted in the Topper secondary; the pass, catch and run covered 84 yards as the distance between Siglock and the pursuit perceptually widened. 6:35 had passed when Carlinville’s lead fell to 14-0.
Perhaps a little anxious to score, the Toppers played after the kick-off that followed. Jaben Compton returned the rebounding kickoff of his 30 in midfield. Stewart (5) and Helton (3) had Hillsboro facing a third and two on the Cavie 42, but their defense stopped the Toppers twice for no gain to regain the ball. An incomplete pass and procedural penalty gave Topper fans hope, but it was snatched as Tiburzi found another receiver, junior Henry Kufa, for a 22-yard gain and a first down at 41. of Hillsboro.
Wiser caught a pitch in the dish, but a hold call put the ball on the Topper 48. Looking at a first down and 20, the Cavies’ decision was to give it their all; Wiser caught the pass and scored easily. Soon it was 21-0 with 2:49 left in the first quarter. At least one Topper fan thought, “Well, that’s as bad as it gets tonight.” I was wrong.
Topper’s first punt came early in the second quarter. (Magnus Wells, who has been the kick-off man since he was in sophomore, has taken on punting duties, at least for last Friday). Wells kicked off 41 yards, but Siglock sent it back to Topper 45, where Wells had to tackle. Six games later, Tiburzi found Duckels in the end zone; his PAT made it 28-0.
The blood was in the water then, and the Cavies, like sharks, were chasing it. Topper quarterback Zane Duff was abandoned for losses on connective staves, and a third down pass was almost intercepted. This time, Siglock’s punt return was blunted by an illegal block call, and Carlinville’s line of scrimmage was their own 15.
No problem; Tiburzi passed 15 (to Wiser), then turned to a different weapon as fullback Mason Patton snatched a 52-yard gain from Topper 18. The next play, a pass from Tiburzi to Siglock, brought the score at 34-0. The conversion made 35, and an unsportsmanlike call on the Toppers meant Carlinville would kick off the Topper 45.
The catastrophe struck one last time; Horseman Ryenn Hart recovered a short kick on Topper 31. Two plays later, Tiburzi slipped through a Topper defense expecting a pass to score on the 30; Duckels propelled PAT with 3:56 left in the first half. The quick stopwatch would start with the kick-off of the second half.
Hillsboro escaped exclusion status by scoring in his last possession of the game. After a sack from the quarterback gave Hillsboro the ball on the downs at Topper 34, led by Stewart (6), Joe Keizer (14) and Duff (12) gave Helton the space he needed. to mark. He took a right step at Cavie 28, then scored on a left step. Blaine Stewart added the extra points.
Carlinville is now 2-1 in the season, 1-1 in the conference. Their only loss was a cliffhanger at Vandalia on the first night of the season. The Vandals will be there for the Homecoming Game this Friday, September 17th.
September 10 in Carlinville
Hillsboro (0-3) 0 0 0 8 8
Carlinville (2-1) 21 21 0 0 42
1st – 10:06 – (C) – Carson Wiser reception 22 yards from Ayden Tiburzi (Mason Duckels kick)
1st – 5:25 – (C) – Ethan Siglock Received an 84 yard touchdown by Ayden Tiburzi (Mason Duckels kick)
1st – 2:49 – (C) – Received a 48 yard TD by Carson Wiser from Ayden Tiburzi (Mason Duckels kick)
2nd – 7:06 – (C) – Reception of a 5 yard TD by Ayden Tiburzi’s Mason Duckels (Mason Duckels kick)
2nd – 4:37 – (C) – Ethan Siglock passes 18 yards from Ayden Tiburzi (Mason Duckels kick)
2nd – 3:56 – (C) – Ayden Tiburzi 30 yard run (Mason Duckels kick)
4th – 2:30 – (H) – Blaze Helton 28-yard run (Blaine Stewart 2pt. Run)
Pass (2-9-23): Zane Duff 2-9-23, 2 INT.
Rush (41-222): Blaze Helton 19-119, 1 TD; Joe Keiser 5-69; Blaine Stewart 8-24; Zane Duff 9-10.
Reception (2-23): Blaine Stewart 1-17; Jace Stewart 1-6.
Defense (Solo / Assistance): Reese Morford 4/1; Blaze Helton 5/0, 1 bag); Joe Keiser 3/0; Blaine Stewart 2/0; Ian Malloy 2/1; Jaben Compton 2/1; Cameron Hacke 1/1; Magnus Wells 1/1; Brayden Fowler 1/0; Garrett Schaake 1/0.