The 2020 season for the storied Hawks of Hillsboro was a bit of a rollercoaster, featuring plenty of ups and downs. The Hawks dropped their first three games to start the season and struggled to get into a rhythm on the field. Thankfully Head Coach Bill Sucharski made some tweaks and the Hawks managed to go 4-2 from week four on. Things came together nicely, and they beat the teams they should beat, never losing to a sub .500 opponent. They got through their first playoff game against Perryville due to a Covid forfeit, but stumbled against a tough North County team in their second match. The bulk of the starting talent is returning in 2021 so the future of this season appears to be a bright one.
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Week 1: 8/27 Northwest (Cedar Hill)
The season kicks off for the Hawks against the Northwest (Cedar Hill) Lions in week one. The Lions were tough last year, going 6-4 overall, and they got the better end of the matchup in 2020 when these two teams squared off. The Hawks fell 37-27 last year and are looking to kick off this season with a revenge victory.
Week 2: 9/03 Jackson
This is a tough one. The Jackson Indians are the reigning State Champions and went a perfect 14-0 last season as they steamrolled through their competition. The Hawks fell 55-14 in their last matchup and they have gone 0-3 against the Indians since 2018. This will likely be the toughest test for the Hawks this year.
Week 3: 9/10 @ Central (Cape Girardeau)
The Central Tigers of Cape Girardeau have been a tough opponent for Hillboro over the better part of the last decade. The Hawks, are just 3-4 against the Tigers in that span, but 2021 was not kind to Central and the Hawks took full advantage. Hillsboro won last year’s matchup in blowout fashion with a 47-20 victory and helped the Tigers stumble to a 3-6 record overall.
Week 4: 9/17 @ North County
Hillboro has a strong history against the North County Raiders over the last 10 years, going 9-5 overall, but the Raiders have been the dominant team in recent years. The Hawks are just 1-3 in the last four meetings between the two clubs. Fortunately for Hillsboro, that one win came last season, and they now have some building blocks to try and take down the Raiders in back-to-back years. In 2021 they came away with a 36-14 win.
Week 5: 9/24 Festus
Week five is rivalry week as the Battle for Highway A continues. The game against the Festus Tigers is almost always the most intense and high-energy matchup of the season. Hillsboro has the edge over the last ten years, going 9-4 against the Tigers. In fact, the Hawks rattled off seven wins in a row… until last season. Festus got the better of them in 2020 with a 41-26 victory. This season’s head-to-head is sure to be nail-biting barn-burner.
Week 6: 10/1 Windsor
The Windsor Owls fell on hard times last season as they went just 2-7 in 2020. Lots of teams had their way with them, including the Hawks, as they rolled to a 64-42 shootout victory. Since 2010 Hillsboro is a perfect 11-0 against Windsor, and with the Hawks playing on their own turf, this year’s matchup previews as more of the same.
Week 7: 10/8 De Soto
Rinse repeat. Here is another struggling school that the Hawks have dominated in the De Soto Dragons. Last season Hillsboro cruised to a shootout winner 54-34 over the Dragons and have now won two in a row against them. De Soto managed just one win last year, going 1-7, and has lost 13-of-15 against the Hawks since 2010. This should be one of the few layups on Hillsboro’s schedule.
Week 8: 10/15 @ St. Francis Borgia
As we flip the script, the Knights of St. Francis Borgia should be a formidable opponent this season. They went 7-4 last year and in the only MSHSAA recorded recent matchup the Knights blew out the Hawks 35-8 in 2020. Always a tough draw, especially on the road, this will surely be an impactful game for Hillsboro as the penultimate regular season match.
Week 9: 10/22 @ Poplar Bluff
The regular season finale pits the Hawks against the Mules from Poplar Bluff. These two teams last played in 2019 and the Mules got the better of Hillsboro by a score of 39-26. The Hawks will have to travel to Poplar Bluff for this one, which adds a little extra sting to the fact that they are just 1-5 versus the Mules since 2014. Last year Poplar Bluff went 5-4 overall.
Football is unpredictable by nature, so this 2021-22 season is sure to be filled with surprises, along with fulfilled expectations. Any given Friday…
Good luck Hawks!