After finishing 1-9 in 2015, Hillsboro turned things around in Joey Moss’ second year to finish district play 4-1 and second in the standings. The Eagles hope to continue that momentum into 2017.

Moss expects the receiving corps to be the strength of this year’s Hillsboro team. Jamal Long — reigning District 4-4A DII Offensive MVP — is back after finishing with 628 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns.

Hillsboro returns plenty of experienced players, including last year’s district offensive MVP, Jamal Long, and co-defensive MVP Demond Oliver. The Eagles will aim to unseat a Glen Rose team that finished in the regional semifinals a year ago.

The Tigers will start a new quarterback but have plenty of talent in the backfield already with running back Weston Halcom.

Godley and Waxahachie Life will also fight for playoff spots. Both squads return plenty of experience.

Hillsboro Eagles

  • LAST SEASON — 5-6 (4-1)
  • RETURNING STARTERS — 6 offensive, 8 defensive
  • COACH JOEY MOSS — 6-15 at Hillsboro

All-time: 411-459-29 since 1910

Playoff history: 11-14 in 15 trips, most recently 2016; 1 state championship (1991)

Base offense: Multiple I

Base defense: 3-4

Outlook: In this day of prolific Air Raid offenses, Joey Moss understands that 300 points may not seem like much to some people. But last season, his Hillsboro football team scored that many for the third time in program history. This season, the Eagles hope for more.

“We’ve been in a fl exbone, fl ex-T, wing-T system,” the Hillsboro coach said. “This is the third year we’ve transferred into more of a spread type system. We’d had receivers who were in this program for three years and hadn’t had a ball thrown to them. It’s been a process. We’ve gotten into 7-on-7 more the last few years and it’s helped. To break the 300 barrier again, we’ll have to be more consistent and eliminate our mistakes.”

Moss expects the receiving corps to be the strength of this year’s Hillsboro team. Jamal Long — reigning District 4-4A DII Offensive MVP — is back after finishing with 628 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns.

On the other side of the ball, Hillsboro expects to run mostly man coverage as the Eagles are athletic in the secondary. While Long, who is also a defensive back, fl ies around the back end, linebacker Demond Oliver returns after recording 131 tackles and eight sacks en route to being named the district’s co-defensive MVP last year.

Overall, Hillsboro has eight starters on the defensive end. And Moss hopes when the lights come on, they emulate some of the coach’s characteristics on the gridiron.

“I’m kind of a fiery type of guy,” Moss said. “I try to exude that into my kids. I want them to play the same way. We teach that making mistakes is fine as long as you’re flying around with your hair on fire. We can fix the rest. As long they’re having fun out there and aren’t thinking too much we keep it simple.”

Schedule

9/1 at Clifton 7:30

9/8 Grandview 7:30

9/15 at Whitney 7:30

9/22 Gatesville 7:30

9/29 Wills Point 7:30

10/13 at Godley 7:30*

10/20 Venus 7:30*

10/27 at Waxahachie Life 7:30*

11/3 FW Benbrook 7:30*

11/10 at Glen Rose 7:30*

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