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Published October 24 2010

Hillsboro gets big rushing effort in playoff football victory against Dakota Prairire

HILLSBORO, N.D. – The goal of the Hillsboro football team is to run for three yards on each play.

However, the result is usually more.

A lot more.

The top-ranked Burros rolled up 331 rushing yards on just 31 carries en route to a 57-23 victory against Dakota Prairie on Saturday in the second round of the North Dakota 9-man playoffs.

“Our line is pretty small but they out-execute everybody,” said Burros senior fullback Alex McLean, who finished with 224 yards and four touchdowns on nine carries in the first half. “They get in the way and they know what they are doing. The backs, we aren’t very fast, but we get the job done.”

No kidding.

Hillsboro (10-0) shook off a nine-play scoring drive by Dakota Prairie that started the game to put 49 unanswered points on the scoreboard in the first half.

Most of the scoring came in a hurry.

The Burros scored five times on the first play of an offensive possession.

McLean scored on runs of 47, 29, 37 and 64 to put Hillsboro ahead 28-7 midway through the second quarter.

An aggressive runner, McLean battered through at least one defender before outracing the pack to the end zone.

“Our line did most of the work, so we have to give it to them,” said quarterback Brandon Otto, who had 113 rushing yards and three touchdowns. “Our line just has to be there. We have good plays called by our coaches and we know what we’re doing.”

Otto scored on runs of 43, 38 and 10 to make the score 49-7 at halftime. He finished 1 of 2 for 15 passing yards and an interception.

Much of the second half was played with a running clock due to Hillsboro’s large lead.

The Burros used their backups in the second half, taking McLean and Otto from the game rather than risk injury.

Hillsboro ran for 12.2 yards per carry.

Dakota Prairie (7-4) made the score 49-23 with less than a minute remaining in the third quarter on a pair of short touchdown runs by backup quarterback Christopher Brogdon.

“They will be there in the end,” Dakota Prairie coach Garrett Magner said of Hillsboro. “They probably aren’t quite as good as they were a couple years ago. But they do a very good job. They are not selfish, they do what they are supposed to do and they know how to win.”

Hillsboro will host Wyndmere-Lidgerwood at 1:30 p.m. next Saturday in the quarterfinals. Wyndmere-Lidgerwood defeated Napoleon-Gackle-Streeter 36-24 on Saturday.

“Next week is going to be a big game,” McLean said. “Mentally, we have to be here for practice. And physically we have to stay healthy. Next week is one game we can’t mess up.”

Dakota Prairie 7 0 16 0–23

Hillsboro 22 27 0 8–57

DP–Herman 7 pass from Gourneau (Gillett kick)

H–McLean 47 run (run failed)

H–McLean 29 run (McLean run)

H–McLean 37 run (Otto run)

H–McLean 64 run (run failed)

H–Otto 43 run (T. Anderson pass from Otto)

H–Otto 38 run (run failed)

H–Otto 10 run (McLean kick)

DP–Brogdon 9 run (Brogdon run)

DP–Brogdon 3 run (Brogdon run)

H–Cote recovered blocked punt in end zone (Spokely run)


RUSHING: DP, Gourneau 14-46, Herman 5-0, Brogdon 16-58, D. Flaagan 1-2. H, McLean 9-224, Otto 7-113, Bowen 6-15, Tapson 1-16, Zink 1-2, Bolstad 1-4, Dufner 6-5.

PASSING: DP, Gourneau 8-15-1 80, Herman 3-3-0 34, Brogdon 3-5-1 20. H, Otto 1-2-1 15.

RECEIVING: DP, Rorvig 3-26, Herman 4-37, Brogdon 2-30, Gillett 2-14, K. Flaagan 1-22, D. Flaagan 1-5, Team 1-0. H, McLean 1-15.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Heath Hotzler at (701) 241-5562.

Hotzler’s blogs can be found at www.areavoices.com