Salpointe vs Hamilton
I am sure Hamilton prepared well for this game. Their play and the score show that. But, hunger to possibly face Highland again, which beat Hamilton for their only loss a few weeks ago, may have proven too much for a strong Salpointe team. Though Hamilton gave up a good amount of yardage to Salpointe, mostly on long passes, their defense stepped up at the opportune moments to keep Salpointe from scoring. Three interceptions killed potential scoring drives for Salpointe and some dropped passes stalled others.
The real action began in the second quarter. Salpointe missed a field goal with left to go in the half. Hamilton was unable to produce much and had to punt the ball away, but their defense was solid and forced Salpointe to punt the ball back to Hamilton. Mekell Wesley made them pay, returning the 37 yard punt 30 yards, crossing the 50 into Salpointe territory. A few plays later, Cody Engelbrecht was pitched the ball on the option, then cutting back against the grain to gallop in for a touchdown. Credit great downfield blocking by the Hamilton receivers to open up the lane to the end zone. Salpointe came alive with quarterback Sean Brevaire placing some well thrown balls into the hands of star receiver Jack Darlington. Nicholas Cole ran it in for Salpointe's first points of the game, with left in the half. Hamilton wasted no time in answering, and Mekell Wesley ran it in off of Travis Dixon's second straight shovel pass. With less than a minute to go, Salpointe went into a hurry-up offense, moving the ball down the field. But Hamilton recognized and stopped a screen pass to force Salpointe to punt the ball. Hamilton took a knee to end the half, HAMILTON 21, SALPOINTE 7.
Hamilton came out firing. Travis Dixon contributed with both his arm and his feet, helping to pick up a first down by running the ball. With remaining in the third quarter, he found #81 Zack Hanneman in the end zone to bring the score to 28-7. The answering drive by Salpointe was ended when #42, Miles Posz, intercepted a pass. A few plays later and Hanneman ran the ball in for the TD. The next drive by Salpointe looked to be over after a dropped pass that was clearly in the receiver's hands. But Jack Darlington gave his team a needed boost, catching a long pass down the sidelines. This set up a scoring run by #6, Levess Eafon. Hamilton looked to be slowing down as a sack by Salpointe's #23, Anthony Soto, forced them to punt. But like all championship-caliber teams, special teams helped out by downing the punt on the 3 yard line. Salpointe was unable to do much and had to punt the ball back to Hamilton. Hamilton's final points came after a nice option run and a Dixon pass to Scott Campos, who was tackled on the one yard line. Travis Dixon punched it in to bring the score to 42-14. Salpointe scored late in the game, but the damage was done. Hamilton looks to be ready for the rematch next week against Gilbert Highland.
Final score: HAMILTON 42, SALPOINTE 21
Game balls: Travis Dixon for his 173-yard, two-touchdown performance. Cody Engelbrecht for his solid 13 carries for 113 yards.