In a game between two of the state's most talented squads, Hamilton put together a workman like effort, dominating all aspects of the game as they defeated Maryvale 37-8 in the second round of the playoffs. Hamilton scored first, with 2:59 left in the first quarter when QB Colby Harris hit Kerry Taylor for a fifteen yard touchdown. The play was set up by a nice thirty-four yard run by Harris on option three plays earlier. With 7:35 left in the second quarter, Harris would hit his second TD pass finding running back Lucas Kirkland in the flat for ten yards, making the score 14-0 Hamilton. On the ensuing possession, once again pinned in their own territory, Maryvale was forced to punt. The snap went over the head of punter Demetrius Stewart and out of the end zone for a Safety. On the free kick, Kerry Taylor took off returning the ball into Maryvale territory. A few plays later, Kirkland would get his second score of the night running the counter back to the right side thirteen yards for the score. This would finish the scoring for the half Hamilton up 23-0.
In the second half, any thoughts of a comeback were put to sleep on Hamilton's opening possession. After a nice return to near midfield, Fiesta Region offensive player of the year Cody Engelbrecht, who was seemingly stopped at the line of scrimmage used his blocks and changed fields multiple times to score on a fifty-three yard run. Hamilton 30 Maryvale 0. For all practical purposes game over! Later in the third, Hamilton backup RB Tony Sims scored on a nine yard run and in the fourth Maryvale would hit a touchdown pass and two point conversion to get on the board for the first and only time. This would make your final Hamilton 37 Maryvale 8.
Bottom Line: The Hamilton D is nasty good!! With punter/kicker Dominic Papa pinning the Panthers deep all night the defense rarely let Maryvale see the other half of the field. Panther RB Ronald Huckaby who has rushed for thousands of yards in his career was locked down forcing Maryvale into the uncomfortable position of being a throw first team. The win leads to what many are already calling the game of the year, as undefeated Westwood and Hamilton play for a spot in the state final.
Game Balls: The Hamilton D. Munns and Moch played great but this group is deep and good all over. Offensively, Kirkland and Harris made solid plays behind an O line that dominated the line of scrimmage. Dominic Papa never let Maryvale look at good field position. He had numerous touchbacks and deep punts limiting the potentially dangerous Maryvale return game.