Balanced Tigers enter bye with 34-22 win

The Wills Point Tigers continued to chart a familiar course throughout the first five weeks of the 2017 season, following the pattern they established in 2016 by bouncing back from four consecutive losses to open the season with a 34-22 win over Hillsboro Sept. 29.

Wills Point began play on offense, maintaining possession for just two plays before fumbling the ball back to Hillsboro at the Tiger 39-yard line. After surrendering a first down to the Eagles, Wills Point's defense stood tall to force a turnover on downs on the Tiger 21-yard line.

Wills Point quickly flipped the field position battle, getting a 37-yard run from Vernon Morrow on the first play of their second drive to reach Eagle territory. Three plays later, Tyler James would find Seth Wilson for a 21-yard touchdown completion and a 6-0 Tiger lead. The PAT would sail wide right, keeping the Tigers in front by six points with 4:34 left to play in the first quarter.

Hillsboro would manage to cut into Wills Point's lead with their second drive of the night, marching from their own 43-yard line to the Tiger 14-yard line in nine plays. Faced with a fourth down and three to go situation, Hillsboro opted for Claudio Deluna field goal that would make the score 6-3 entering the second quarter.

Wills Point would answer Hillsboro’s score with one of their own, marching 60 yards in 14 plays for their second touchdown of the night. The Tigers converted on three fourth down plays on the drive, including scoring on a 15-yard touchdown completion from James to Brandon Smith with 4:35 to play in the half. Aidan Phillips knocked home the PAT, extending the Tiger advantage to 13-3.

Offenses continued to dominate throughout most of the first half as Hillsboro put together its first touchdown drive of the night less than two minutes after Smith's touchdown.

Taking possession of the ball at their own 45-yard line, Hillsboro needed just five plays to reach the end zone. After a 22-yard run by Courtney Hewitt moved the Eagles to the Tiger 34-yard line, Hewitt connected with Jadarius Baxter on a touchdown completion. The ensuing PAT attempt was blocked by the Tigers, keeping Wills Point in front 13-9.

Not content to just run out the clock, Wills Point's offense put together its third consecutive touchdown drive of the first half.

Tyler James opened the scoring drive by connecting with Nathan Johnson on a 25-yard completion to reach the Hillsboro 28-yard line. After a one-yard loss on first down, James connected with Jacob Moore on a 13-yard completion before hitting Demontre Hill on a16-yard touchdown pass. Aidan Phillips added the PAT, giving the Tigers a 20-9 lead with 1:07 to play in the quarter.

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