Caden Fischer threw seven touchdown passes and ran for three more TD’s as the Hillcrest Comets won a 78-54 shootout with the Ortonville Trojans on Friday night. The two teams combined for over 1200 yards in the Section 4 9-Man contest played in Fergus Falls.
Daunte Fetters returned the opening kick-off of the game 88 yards for a score and Carter Brown added a two-point conversion run for an 8-0 lead. After the Comets were stopped on downs at the Ortonville 38, Nathan Gustafson carried the ball 62 yards on their first play from scrimmage. A two-point conversion run by Fetters made the score 16-0 just over two minutes into the game. An Ortonville fumble gave possession of the ball to the Comets on the Trojans 30 yard line. Six plays later Evan Lindgren caught a 4 yard TD pass from Caden Fischer and Endre Okland added an extra point kick to cut the Ortonville lead to 16-7. A 35 yard run by Fetters with 2:20 left in the quarter increased the Trojans lead to 22-7. Fischer then hit Joel Bowman with a 2 yard scoring toss with twelve seconds left and the first quarter ended 22-13.
In the second quarter Fetters ran 68 yards for a touchdown and the Trojans led 28-13. Hillcrest responded quickly with an 82 yard pass from Fischer to Leo Nordick and a two-point conversion pass from Fischer to Zayne Weinrich to trim the Trojans lead to 28-21. Ortonville quarterback Carter Brown carried the ball into the end zone from 2 yards out with 8:15 left in the half and Fetters scored the two-point conversion for a 36-21 Ortonville lead. Lindgren then went 70 yards with the ensuing kick-off to cut the lead to 36-27 with 8:02 remaining. Following an Ortonville punt and a good return by Lindgren, the Comets took over on the Ortonville 39. Five plays later Fischer connected with Lindgren on an 11 yard TD pass and the Ortonville lead was down to 3 points at 36-33 with 3:13 to play in the half. The Comet defense held the Trojans to a 3 and out and got the ball back at their own 14 yard line. Hillcrest went 86 yards in 6 plays with Bowman hauling in a 5 yard touchdown pass from Fischer. Weinrich caught a two-point pass and Hillcrest had their first lead of the game at 41-36 with just 36 seconds left. Ortonville then went 66 yards in 3 plays, regaining the lead on a 35 yard pass from Brown to Gustafson with just two seconds to play in the half. Ortonville took a 42-41 halftime lead.
It didn’t take long for Hillcrest to get the lead back as they went 57 yards in 10 plays to start the second half with Fischer crossing the goal line from the one yard line for a 47-42 lead. After recovering a fumble the Comets scored on another one yard run to make the score 53-42. Ortonville then scored on an 11 yard run by Isaac Brown and the Comets led 53-48 with 4:50 left in the third quarter. With 3:50 remaining Lindgren scored on a 25 yard run to raise the Comets led to 59-48. A 65 yard run by Carter Brown cut the Hillcrest lead to 59-54 at the end of the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter Weinrich caught a 3 yard pass from Fischer and it was 65-54. A 15 yard run by Fischer and an Okland extra point kick gave the Comets a 72-54 lead and after the third fumble of the game by Ortonville, Hillcrest ended the scoring with a 9 yard TD pass from Fischer to Bowman, putting the final score at 78-54.
“There are games as a coach that get your heart racing from start to finish and today was one of them,” commented Hillcrest Head Coach Korey Fry. “Our team showed we can take a hit and be resilient. Ortonville gave us all it had and more today. Starting the game down 16 points in the first three minutes isn’t the way to start. We hung in there and made it a game.”
Fischer had a huge night, completing 28-of-40 passes for 372 yards and 7 touchdowns. Bowman caught fourteen passes for 131 yards and 3 scores. Weinrich had six receptions for 98 yards and a touchdown. Lindgren had 185 rushing yards on 27 carries and caught 3 passes for 28 yards. He scored on rushing TD and two passing TD’s on the night. Hillcrest had a total of 674 yards (303 rushing, 372 passing). Defensive leaders were Gavin Knutson (13 tackles, 5 assisted tackles, 2 fumble recoveries), Nordick (11 tackles, 4 assisted tackles), Weinrich (7 tackles, 1 assisted tackle), Micah Bermel (6 tackles, 4 assisted tackles, 1 fumble recovery) and David Wangboje (2 tackles, 1 assisted tackle, 1 QB sack).
“Coach Stich and Coach Nordick had the offense clicking on all cylinders tonight,” added Coach Fry. “Caden played one of the best games I’ve ever seen. Defensively, we didn’t play well, but in the fourth quarter when it mattered the most our defense shut Ortonville down and allowed our offense to roll.”
Ortonville compiled 580 yards of offense with 504 coming on the ground and 76 through the air. Fetters had 193 yards on 13 carries. Carter Brown ran for 118 yards on 19 attempts and Gustafson had 107 yards on 11 attempts. Brown completed 3-of-8 passes for 76 yards and a TD.
Hillcrest (4-3) won their fourth straight game and will close out their regular season with a 3:30pm game against Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley on Wednesday in Graceville. Ortonville (2-5) is closing out their season at home against Rothsay on Wednesday night.