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No. 3 Hillsboro-CV builds off five interceptions to beat No. 6 Oakes 20-0 in Class B 11-man semifinals

Burros' defense makes two big stops backed up in their own end to shut down any Tornadoes momentum.

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Hillsboro-Central Valley junior running back Landon Olson, left, attempts to haul in a pass as Oakes senior defensive back Adler Paeper looks on in the first quarter of H-CV’s 20-0 Class B 11-man win Saturday at Hillsboro Sports Complex.
Cory Erickson / Hillsboro Banner
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HILLSBORO, N.D – A heavy battle built by turnovers between No. 3 Hillsboro-Central Valley and No. 6 Oakes saw the Burros carve away in the second half to take a 20-0 win in the North Dakota state Class B 11-man quarterfinals on Saturday.

“We just needed to get our run game going. Cole (Hebl) and Riley (Olsen) were the guys we had to lean on and they did a really good job of taking care of the ball and creating a push as our line got on their guys,” Hillsboro coach Scott Olsen said.

Taking care of the ball was the main focus coming out of the half for both sides. After an opening touchdown on fourth down from the seven-yard line by Hebl, interceptions by Landon Olson and Riley Olsen for the Burros and a fumble recovery for the Tornadoes stopped either side from building any momentum in the first two quarters.

On defense, pressure from the Hillsboro front allowed those behind to make plays on an agile quarterback in Oakes’ Xavier Vossler. Including at the end of the first half where the Tornadoes failed to convert on both third-and-goal and fourth-and-goal.

“That was the whole game plan against them. We had to create pressure so that our back end could make plays and with five interceptions you can’t ask for any more than that,” said Olsen.

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That is how the second half would begin, as Kaden Kozojed snatched a ball traveling back across the middle of the field to give the Burros the ball in Oakes territory.

Twenty-five yards on draw plays from Olsen put his team in a goal-to-go situation and the quarterback again delivered with a seven-yard touchdown on the ground.

On the next drive after going up 13-0, Olsen was stripped of the ball by Tornadoes defensive lineman Eddie Garza, which gave Oakes the ball deep in the Burro field. They were unable to capitalize, yet again, on fourth down.

Olsen would later make up for his turnover on offense with his second interception of the day on defense at the end of the third quarter. With the ball at the 27, Olsen pushed ahead on three keepers for 19 yards. Finishing the drive was Hebl from the goal line on a one-yard touchdown run.

“We haven’t had too many turnovers this year and we’ve caused a lot, but we fight. That’s what coaches preach to us. No matter what goes wrong, you have to fight and good things will happen,” the senior quarterback said.

Olsen finished the second half with 55 yards on the ground, an interception and a rushing touchdown.

“He’s a big kid that can take advantage when he gets the ball in his hands. He’s a big kid that can run hard, he just has to choose to,” Scott Olsen said.

An interception from Peter Dryburgh would end the game and the season for Oakes, as Hillsboro now moves on to the Class B 11-man semifinals against No. 2 Velva-Drake-Anamoose. As for the other side of the bracket, No. 1 Kindred was upset by Central Cass on Saturday and now the Squirrels will take on Beulah.

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Hillsboro-Central Valley senior fullback Cole Hebl, right, turns up field against Oakes senior defensive back Noah Sundby fourth quarter of H-CV’s 20-0 Class B 11-man win Saturday at Hillsboro Sports Complex.
Cory Erickson / Hillsboro Banner
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Oakes junior wide receiver Brogan Roney eludes the defense of Hillsboro-Central Valley juniors Kaden Kozojed, right, and Dylan Mitzel, left, in the second quarter of H-CV’s 20-0 Class B 11-man win Saturday at Hillsboro Sports Complex.
Cory Erickson / Hillsboro Banner

Related Topics: FOOTBALL
Digital Content Producer and Sports Reporter at the Grand Forks Herald since December of 2020. Maxwell can be contacted at mmarko@gfherald.com.
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