HOBART | When Ryan Turley took the head coaching job at Hobart, he talked of bringing back championship football.
Turley and the Times No. 8 Brickies took the initial step back down the championship road when they won a share of the Northwest Crossroads Conference on Friday night with a dominating 50-7 conference win over Highland.
“We talked as a team about bringing championships back to the Brickyard,” Turley said. “Tonight was the first step towards our ultimate goal.”
The Brickies (7-2, 5-1) got off to a fast start when Anthony Burgos took the opening kickoff and scampered 85 yards for a touchdown just 17 seconds into the game.
After the Trojans (1-8, 0-6) had a punt blocked, Hobart went 18 yards in five plays for their second TD. Quarterback Andrew Barras tossed an eight-yard pass to Elijah Walker for the score that made it 14-0 with only six minutes played.
“Turnovers are a big part of our game,” Turley said. “Our goal every game is to be at least 2-plus on the turnover game. That blocked punt was a great play for our special teams’ defense.”
Special teams came into play again for the Brickies when Burgos returned a punt for a 67-yard touchdown that pushed the Brickie lead to 33-0 in the second quarter.
Nicholas Bokun got the defense in the scoring act when he intercepted a Trojan pass and ran it back 18 yards for a score.
With the score 36-0 at the half, the Brickies were content to run the ball in the second half. Six different running backs combined for 202 second-half yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Highland coach Trent Grider tried to return to basics and focus on the running game, but the quick Hobart lead made it tough to stick to the ground attack.
“Because of injuries, we tried a few things the last couple of weeks that were out of character for us,” Grider said. “So we went back to running the football and focusing on what we do well. But we needed to hold on to the ball better.”
The Trojans had two lost fumbles along with the interception. The three turnovers kept them from sustaining any kind of momentum.
Running back LaKice Brooks lead Highland with 139 rushing yards and a touchdown on 24 carries.
Friday night was Hobart’s 13th straight win over Highland over the last 15 years.
Hobart drew Kankakee Valley in the sectional opener next week. The Brickies, on a five game win streak, will travel to Jasper County for the second time this season with their mind on avenging a 27-21 loss on Sept. 7.
“We are excited to have a second chance,” Turley said. “We’re glad we drew them. We look forward to the challenge.”
Highland will travel to the Boneyard for a sectional matchup with Griffith next week.