VALRICO — Despite a muddy field, Hillsborough used a poised running game to cap off the regular season with a 28-6 victory over Bloomingdale.
The Terriers are on a six-game winning streak and have posted 8-2 records in each of their last three seasons under long-time head coach Earl Garcia.
Senior Pittsburgh commitment Jordaan Bailey lined up all over the place for Hillsborough. He took snaps under center as a quarterback, ran the ball, caught passes and returned kicks.
In total, Bailey amassed 169 yards and two rushing touchdowns, breaking a slew of tackles along the way.
“Well, we lost Caleb Pierce for the season. He had surgery Monday,” Garcia said. “We had to do what we had to do at quarterback. I’ve been very proud of Shaun (Joshi.) He’s come in and done a heck of a job. We’ve got to get the ball in No. 1 (Bailey)’s hands. Bailey’s a good player, he’s bright, and he’s fun to coach.”
On Hillsborough’s first three drives, Bailey had runs of 38, 30 and 48 yards. His first score came from the 1-yard line as he was under center on third-and-goal. His other touchdown was a 48-yard run to put his team ahead 14-0 with just under 11 minutes left in the half.
Fresh off the second-quarter water break, Bloomingdale junior quarterback Charles Coney threw a nice touch pass deep to junior wideout Kendall Jones for a 48-yard touchdown. That cut the deficit to 14-6 as the Bulls (4-6) missed the 2-point conversion.
Just minutes later, Hillsborough continued to run the ball, and senior Colorado State commit Joseph Sipp fought his way in for a 7-yard rushing score.
After a scoreless third quarter, Sipp recorded his second touchdown of the night. This one came from six yards out on the opening play of the fourth quarter.
The Terriers made a pair of impressive one-handed grabs on both sides of the ball.
In the first quarter, senior defensive tackle Noah Miles caught a one-handed interception that he pulled into his body on a third-and-7 toss near the red zone. Midway through the third, senior tight end Justin Anderson made a one-handed catch on third-and-10 right down the middle of the field. Anderson also had a sack.
“He’s the best-kept secret in the state. He just got another offer,” Garcia said. “Justin (Anderson) is a guy who we took off the basketball court. I coached his father, as a matter of fact, years ago.”
Senior safety Laterrian Hicks reeled in the game-sealing interception in the end zone with just over two minutes left.
“The kids come to work at practice every day with some excitement,” Garcia said. “We’ve been doing the same thing since last April. We told the kids, ‘It’s now up to you. If you don’t want to lose, we won’t, and if you want to keep playing, we will.’ It’s on them.”