Daily Journal Sports Editor
FARMINGTON – When the Hawks of Hillsboro match up with the Knights of Farmington for a football game, it’s a guessing game as to who will win and how high the scoring will go. Friday’s Homecoming Game at Farmington proved to be just that. Which team would score last seemed to be the question, and it was Farmington’s quarterback Stuart Sago and receiver John Roark who answered the question in a big way.
With 1:25 left in the ball game, Sago hit Roark for a leaping catch in the corner of the end zone to give Farmington a 40-35 win over the Hawks. Roark was a constant target for the senior quarterback. Sago, who was 26-33 for 398 yards and four touchdowns, connected with Roark on 13 of those passes for 257 yards and one TD.
Sago broke the season record for touchdown passes with 19, and Roark broke the season record for receiving yards with 1,258 yards so far.
The Knights seemed to have everything under control at the start as they scored touchdowns on four of their five possessions in the first half. Hillsboro was snake-bitten in the first half, coughing the ball up three times, but the Hawks were still able to keep themselves in the ball game with two touchdowns of their own.
The Knights struck first on a 64-yard drive which was highlighted by a 40 yard pass caught by Roark, but it was Travis Ribbing going over the goal line from one yard out for the score. Roark kicked the extra point.
Hillsboro answered back. After the kick-off sailed over the receiver’s head, the Hawks were caught at their 13-yard line for a starting spot. The Farmington band played a funeral dirge to accent Hillsboro’s bad field position, but the Hawks recovered.
Driving 87 yards on 15 plays, the Hawks marched one running play after another until running back Joshua Lambrich ran the ball in from the 10-yard line. The kick was good by Nathan Kichen to tie the score.
The Knights answered right back, going 66 yards on just five plays. DuJuan Glaspy had a 23 yard run on the drive that matched his jersey number and a personal foul on Hillsboro extended the play 15 more yards. The touchdown came on a 13-yard pass from Sago to Eric Schweiss, and Roark tacked on another point.
Hillsboro’s next possession was thwarted by Farmington’s Jacob Hise who came up with a Hawks’ fumble. It was the second fumble collected by the Knights as Seth Hennes fell on one on Hillsboro’s second possession
This time with the 28-yard field, the Knights struck paydirt on three plays. Sago hit Josh Kimrey with a pass for the score from the spot of the fumble recovery. Another Roark extra point made it a 21-7 score in favor of the Knights.
Hillsboro retaliated with four-play drive of their own, ending with a 40-yard jaunt by running back Mike Krysl for the touchdown. Krysl had his way with Farmington’s defense. The senior running back ran the ball 27 times for 237 yards in the game, bowling over Farmington defenders most of the way.
Hillsboro’s touchdown came with 3:51 left in the half, which was enough time for Farmington to go at it again. Aided by a Hillsboro interference call, the Knights used only six plays to go 71 yards with Glaspy taking it in from the one yard again for the score. Roark made it 28-14 which would last to the half.
The touchdown came with 1:14 left in the half, and Hillsboro tried their two-minute drill. The Hawks failed as Kimrey came up with an interception for Farmington to end the half.
After the queen was crowned, the Knights took the ball on their first possession and marched it again for a touchdown. Ribbing ran the ball three times on the drive for 31 of the 79 yards, and Dewayne Glaspy made a one-handed grab of a Sago pass for the nine-yard touchdown. The extra point sailed wide, and in a way opened the door for Hillsboro.
The Hawks took over for most of the remaining 17 minutes of the game. Hillsboro again rode the Krysl-train to paydirt as it took only eight plays to go the 74 yards after the kick-off. Krysl ran the ball in from 10-yards out, dragging Knights with him and running over a couple on the way. The extra point made it 34-21 score.
Just before the fourth quarter, Hillsboro pulled off one of their top defensive stands. They forced Farmington to punt the ball for the first and only time in the game. The Hawks made the Knights pay. From their 28-yard line, Hillsboro took 15 plays to score, with Krysl carrying the ball into the end zone from five yards out, but Farmington’s Kevin Pothetos blocked the extra point to make the score 24-27.
Farmington marched the ball sown the field again, starting with a 42-yard hook-up from Sago to Roark. The drive stalled at the six-yard line, and the Knights went for the field goal to ice the game, but the Hawks defense stepped up big for the block.
There was enough time for the Hawks to give it one more try, and they did it in a big way. Hillsboro ran the ball all the way, and it looked like Farmington had made the stop they needed as Hillsboro faced a fourth-and-five at Farmington’s 24-yard line. However, an over-anxious Knights’ defensive line jumped the gun and the penalty gave the Hawks a first down.
They made the best of the mistake as Krysl ran the ball in three plays later form the two. The Hawks went for two and Krysl blasted through the line for the Hawks first lead at 35-34 with only 1:25 left in the game.
The Knights started from their 36-yard line after the kick-off. Passes caught by Schweiss, Roark and Tyler Epstein, and a draw play that saw DuJuan Glaspy run 19 yards, set up the Knights on the Hillsboro 13. A sack by Krysl of Sago made it fourth down and 18 yards to go. Sago’s pass was on the money to Roark as the senior receiver leaped high for the catch and came down with one foot inbound and the defender crashing Roark on out-of-bounds.
The Knights went for two, but the attempt was stopped by the Hawks with only 26.4 second left. Hillsboro put up a good effort but having to change to a passing game, there just wasn’t enough time.