Hillsboro rules out McClain Tigers in boys’ football game

The Hillsboro boys’ varsity football team traveled to Greenfield Thursday night to face McClain, as the teams had gone scoreless earlier in the season.

But on that freezing night, the Hillsboro team prevailed 3-0 in a hard-fought game and a mostly defensive struggle throughout.

Hillsboro scored the only goal of the first half on a Wesley Bailey shot at 6:17. The Indians added two points in the second period on goals from Carson Scott and Nick Turner.

Hillsboro’s Will Hardy was superb at net, making several big saves on McClain’s shots, especially in the second half.

“Will (Hardy) is one of our main leaders and a super warrior for us,” Hillsboro head coach Ben Howland said after the game. “We played a 0-0 draw earlier in the year at home, and I think for most it was yet another fair game tonight.

“We’ve struggled to score in our last few games, but tonight our boys came together and played really well.

“We had a great week of practice, and it showed in the game here tonight,” Howland continued. “Overall, it was one of the best games we’ve played all year. We passed the ball well, we defended well, then we took a few shots.

“I told our boys that we really didn’t click on attack or defense but today everything seems to have fallen into place.”

McClain’s head coach Nick McNeal also spoke after the game.

“It was very frustrating how we came out and played tonight,” McNeal said. “I can never say our kids aren’t playing hard, we just have to play better and do the right things on the pitch.

“We never seemed to be in the right places all night, and we were leaving big gaps on the court and we never really seemed to be on the attack offensively as a team,” McNeal continued. “Our defense looked very disorganized and our spacing wasn’t there either, so positioning was something we really lacked tonight.”

McClain’s next game is at Fairfield on Monday night, while Hillsboro was scheduled to play at home on Saturday against Logan Elm, then host Ironton St. Joe on Wednesday.