By Hartsville Vidette Staff Reporter

NASHVILLE — Mt. Juliet forced Hillsboro into four turnovers in their second-round playoff game Friday night, but fell four yards short with 28 seconds left in a 28-21 loss.
“We fought hard and I am extremely proud of them,” Mt. Juliet coach Roger Perry said after his first group of Golden Bears end a five-game winning streak and a 7-5 season. “We played a group of athletes that has been in the weight room four years.”
The Golden Bears couldn’t get any field position early as Hillsboro won the battle, starting once at the Mt. Juliet 46 and the other two times on the Burros’ side of the field, at the 34- and 32-yard lines.
Hillsboro broke the ice on a 66-yard drive. The key plays were receptions by Mike Brown of 17 and 33 yards getting them to the 4. And from there, Jacquese Seward scored the first of his two touchdowns giving the Burros a 7-0 lead.
For the night, Seward carried the ball 26 times for 259 yards and two touchdowns as Hillsboro advanced to the 4A quarterfinals with a 12-0 record.
“The offensive line blocked good for me and we focused on what we had to do,” Seward said.
Mt. Juliet came back and tied the game in the second quarter on a 12-play drive taking 5:04 off the clock. The 51-yard march was capped by a 2-yard run from senior quarterback Taylor Cisneros.
Two plays later the Golden Bears had a turnover as Burro quarterback Matt Arent threw an interception, setting the ball at the Hillsboro 37-yard line. On the fourth play of the drive, Cisneros threw a 9-yard pass to Payton Marudas, giving the Golden Bears a 14-7 lead.
The Mt. Juliet defense couldn’t hold the Burros out of the end zone and they tied the score before intermission on another short run by Seward and the point after was good tying the score at 14-14.
Hillsboro came out in the second half with the ball and Seward was ready as he busted a 73-yard run, placing the ball at the Golden Bear 6-yard line. On a third-down play, Arent went back to pass and threw the ball right to MJ cornerback Robert Hill, who raced 100 yards for the touchdown as the Golden Bears took 21-14 lead two minutes into the second half.
Danny Valcenic got another interception off of Arent’s arm, setting Mt. Juliet up at the Burro 40-yard line. The drive stalled and Thomas Zamperello was called on to attempt a 51-yard field goal. But the ball sailed right and Hillsboro took over on the 20-yard line.
Sewell again ripped off a big run, this one was 67 yards, setting up a 4-yard run by Arent to deadlock the score one more time at 21-21.
“The offensive line was challenged all week and we challenged them again at halftime. It all starts up front,” Hillsboro coach Scott Blade said.
Mt. Juliet got one more opportunity when Sewell fumbled the ball and the Golden Bears recovered at the 27-yard line. The drive again stalled and Zamperello attempted a 43-yard field goal. But it was a fake and the holder rolled left and attempted a pass that was intercepted by Evan Langster.
Hillsboro then went on a 15-play, 67-yard drive. The key play was a 17-yard completion on a fourth-and-10 play to Eric Gordon. Arent capped the drive with an 8-yard pass to Corey Jorden.
The Golden Bears had one last opportunity beginning at their own 20. A key play was a 52-yard completion to Antwuan Majors that moved them to the Burros’ 28-yard line. They slowly moved the ball down the field inside the 5-yard line, setting up a fourth-down-and-goal at the 4-yard line. On the play, Cisneros rolled out and was forced to throw with his left hand and the ball fell to the turf. Hillsboro took over and ran out the clock
Hillsboro will face Clarksville in the quarterfinals next Friday.