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Hillsboro holds off Festus in district semis slugfest on KJFF

(Hillsboro) The Hillsboro Hawks once again needed every second and every yard they could get to fend off the Festus Tigers, but they got the job done.

Hillsboro defeated Festus 13-7 in the Class 4 District 1 semifinals Friday night on KJFF.

A Festus touchdown on the opening drive was taken off the board, and the Hillsboro defense took advantage of that second chance.

The problem the Hawks faced all night was how the Tigers stood strong on fourth down.

Festus even created takeaways on defense.

But the Tiger offense never backed up the stops.

Hillsboro got the ball back with just over a minute left in the first half and finally broke through.

A 41-yard run by Austin Romaine set up the first points on the scoreboard.

Both defenses continued to play well.

The Hawks’ lead stayed 7-0 until late in the fourth quarter.

That’s when Festus got another stop, and turned the game on its head.

But Hillsboro would respond, as Austin Romaine powered a game-winning drive and put the Hawks in front for good.

And the Hawks got one more stop on defense.

Hillsboro wins its eighth straight game to improve to 9-1.

Hawks head coach Bill Sucharski couldn’t say enough good things about his team’s defense.

Romaine finished with 233 yards rushing and was the Applebee’s of Farmington Player of the Game.

He said he was telling his coaches to give him the rock and let him deliver the final blow.

While Festus ends the season at 6-5, Hillsboro will try to win their first district championship since 2017.

The Hawks will host the Class 4 District 1 championship game next week against North County in a game you can hear on AM 1400 KJFF.

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