For those of you who tuned in to Cox7 to watch the Hamilton Huskies host the Red Mountain Mountain Lions, we are sorry that the game was not televised. At around 2:30 in the afternoon, the truck lost its voltage regulator and transformer. Despite a gallant effort from engineers Bill and Steve, the broadcast was pronounced dead at about 4 PM. To add insult to injury, a dust storm blew in right as we were tearing everything down and pelted the crew with sand. Not a good night for the Cox7 team. We look forward to a new week.
What you missed if you weren't at the game was a thorough domination by the Hamilton first team. The final score of 41-14 was not indicative of the one sidedness of the game. The Huskies received the opening kickoff and marched 68 yards in two minutes and forty seconds. Back-up QB Colby Harris came off the bench after starter Brad Gruner was injured on the fifth play of the game and threw a six yard strike to wideout Zack Hanneman. Gruner hurt his right ACL and MCL and his return is unknown at this time.
The Mountain Lions moved the ball on their first possession, but turned it over to Hamilton on a fumble recovered by middle linebacker Gerald Munns. On fourth down from the 32, Harris hit Kerry Taylor on a deep sideline for the score.
The rest of the half was all Hamilton. They led 35-0 at the break. Harris, a transfer from Pearland, Texas near Houston where he was the back-up quarterback and a receiver, was nearly perfect. He connected on 10 of 15 passes for 165 yards and four scores. He threw one interception, but it took a great effort by Red Mountain's Jay Petsch. Harris also ran 21 yards for the final Hamilton score with three and a half to go in the third quarter. Taylor looked like the perfect fill in for graduated Mekell Wesley. He caught 4 passes for 106 yards and two scores in the half, including an electrifying 48 catch and run to set up a score. Oh, he also threw for a 21 yard score on a reverse pass to Hanneman. Munns picked up where he left off at the end of last year when he was the Huskies best linebacker. He continually stuffed the run and recovered two fumbles.
Red Mountain looked like a team with just four starters back. However, they look like they will improve and had some bright spots. Big Jon Hargis and linebacker Aaron Hoberg continually stopped the run as the Lions dared Hamilton to pass and keyed on the option game. Hoberg was in on seven tackles and Hargis had five as well as a caused fumble and a hurry. Quarterback Nick Orr was about the only offense Red Mountain had in the first half with 8 carries for 66 yards, mostly on scrambles. Big Kellen Farr, a 6'7", 260 pound junior tight end was effective, catching three balls for 34 yards. Junior Cody Morrow looked good throwing the ball when he came in for Orr late in the game, throwing a touchdown to wideout Saiber Soland against the Hamilton reserves.
Hamilton used their second and third teams for most of the second half. Both Red Mountain scores were given up by them. Coach John Wrenn had sophomore Justin Peters on the field quarterbacking most of the second half and gave significant carries to another sophomore, Covaughn Deboskie. The defense was impressive, led by Munns and defensive lineman Alston Gaines. Big and fast, they should keep the Huskies in games when and if the offense sputters. Senior tailback Cody Englebrecht was held in check most of the game. He gained 47 yards on 12 carries and caught a couple of passes.
Colby Harris wasn't surprised at the Huskies performance. "These guys are all great players. Even though I didn't have that many reps (at QB) in practice this week, I knew that the guys would make plays. I just went in and did my job". Harris was slated to start at safety, but will now concentrate on offense with the injury to Gruner.
Wrenn was pleased but not satisfied with the win. "We need to improve on a lot of things. They (Red Mountain) put 8 or 9 defenders in the box and dared us to pass. The offensive line did a good job pass blocking."
Next up for Hamilton is a home game against Paradise Valley while Red Mountain plays at home against Deer Valley.
The Cox7 game of the week on Thursday goes to Chandler as the Wolves host the powerful air attack of Brophy. Chandler linebacker Ricky Moore will gear it up to stop junior quarterback Conor Hearn and his returning receiving core. This should be a good one.
We are also traveling down to Tucson on Friday to broadcast the Amphitheatre vs. Marana Mountain View game. The game is going to be shown live on Cox7 at 7 PM. It will be fun to see legendary Tucson coaches Wayne Jones of Mountain View and Vern Friedli of Amphitheatre, who should become the second coach in Arizona history to win 300 games this season. He need four to do it.
Thanks for reading and we'll check in next week.