Hamilton v. Highland

It was a 5A Fiesta Region battle as the Hamilton Huskies traveled to Gilbert to take on the Hawks of Highland High School. Recap and pictures inside.

The Highland offense started things off but the Hamilton defense with the help of a Highland holding penalty forced a quick three and out. Highland kicked the ball from deep in their territory and gave Hamilton the ball on the Hawk side of the field only a few first downs from the red zone for their first drive. With Gerell Robinson at QB, Hamilton got things going on the ground with a hand-off to Jr. running back Dante Alexander, a nice pitch out play to Drew Terrell, and a pitch to Nathan Jeffery for a first down. On the next play Robinson went back to Jeffery off the right side, the tailback scampered 16 yards for the Touchdown – Hamilton missed the point after attempt. Early in the first Hamilton was up 6 – 0.


The rest of the first quarter proved to be a defensive battle as each team stiffened and long drives were hard to come by.  Highland had another 3 and out as QB Jeremy Fuhst seemed to over throw his receivers when they needed a big gain.


Robinson threw a pick on Hamilton's next possession when DB Will Shaw jumped a pass on 3rd and 10 to give Highland the ball.  Hamilton's defense forced a third consecutive three and out with yet another penalty on Highland, this time a delay of game. Highland punted out of their own end zone, which gave Hamilton the ball with decent field position once again, but the Highland D rose to the occasion featuring DB Garrett Chase and Nick Cloonan got some good pressure on Robinson. However with poor field position, Highland had to work extra hard to gain any ground. This drive found them starting from their own five yard line. As the first quarter ticked away, a couple QB keepers by Fuhst and some hard running by tailback Mike Madrid showed some signs of life for the Hawks. At the end of the first quarter Highland had the ball on their 39 down 6-0.



Another QB keeper for 2 yards, an incomplete pass, and a penalty on Highland killed their best drive of the night thus far and they punted away on 4th and 12. Hamilton put together a nice drive of their own featuring a 12 yard catch to TE Tim Fowler, a pitch and run from Robinson to Alexander for 11 yards and another pass to Fowler for 10 yards on an "in" route. But Hamilton shot themselves in the foot with a 1st and 20, by committing back to back holding calls. The drive ended at 4th and 18 with a field goal attempt on the Highland 28. The kick missed, and Highland took over.


Highland couldn't get anything going on the ground or in the air, other than a 20 yard QB scramble by Fuhst, they did not move the ball and punted away again. You knew it was only a matter of time before the Hamilton offense started clicking and the Highland defense started wearing down. A fake hand off to DeBoskie gave Robinson enough time to find Drew Terrell for a 30 yard gain. It was Drew again a couple plays later on a motion hand off with a gain of 10. A quick hand off to Nathan Jeffery on 2nd and 8 with 1:38 left to play in the half yielded a gain of 4 yards. All the running plays set up an inside pitch pass from Robinson to Kyle Petersen who stretched it down the right side and turned the corner for a 15 yard touch down. The two point conversion by Hamilton was good making the score 14 – 0 with only seconds left in the half.


Coach Belles must have given a good half time speech as Hamilton came out in the 3rd quarter and scored on their first drive. A 35 yard kick-off return by Caleve DeBoskie got things going and set up 1st and 10 on the Husky 44 yard line. The Hamilton offense went exclusively to the ground attack on this drive with hard running from Jeffery, Covaughn DeBoskie, Alexander and Terrell. An inside hand off to Covaughn DeBoskie was good for another touchdown from 6 yards out – the PAT was good and Hamilton was up 21 – 0.


Sensing the pressure, Highland put together their best drive of the night with some scrambles by Fuhst, a nice pass to Josh Valenzuela for 24 yards, and some hard running by Madrid. Despite a couple penalties Highland got the ball down to the Hamilton 26 and Madrid took the hand off for 3 yards. On 4th and 3 Highland went for it and came up a yard short turning the ball over on downs to Hamilton.


It took only two plays for Hamilton to reach the end zone again. A reverse screen pass from Robinson to Covaughn DeBoskie went for 20 yards. Then a nice pass from Robinson and even nicer over the shoulder catch by Terrell went for 60 yards and a TD – the PAT was good and just like that it was 28 – 0. Highland tried to respond with the only thing that had seemed to be effective the whole night – lots of QB keeper plays to try to set up the short pass game. A quick pass to Kyson Lamb got the Hawks close to mid-field but just as the quarter ended the center snapped the ball right passed Fuhst who covered the ball after a loss of 20 yards. At the end of 3 quarters it was Hamilton shutting out Highland 28 – 0.


After digging a hole at the end of the 3rd Highland only dug it deeper to start the forth. A holding penalty and an incomplete pass set up a punt on 4th and 41 from deep in their own territory. Hamilton started putting in some of their 2 and 3 deep players, a move that included Jr. Zakary Hambsch going to QB and Robinson moving to WR. After a holding call that brought back a 33 yard Covaughn DeBoskie run, Drew Terrell ran a reverse and picked up 25 yards down the right field side line.  A complete pass to the younger Caleve DeBoskie, and an option pitch to Jeffery got the Huskies just outside of the red zone. Hambsch looked for Robinson in the end zone where the pass was tipped by Highland DB Chase Garrett and was grabbed by Gerell for 6 more points. The PAT was good and now Hamilton was up 35 – 0 with 8:51 left to play.


Highland was looking to avoid the shut out at this point – and Brandon Shines came in a RB to get some hard fought yards. On a Fuhst keeper that gained 11 yards, a Hamilton defender popped the ball out of his arms and right into Kyson Lamb's hands who was quickly taken down by his face mask. After the Hamilton penalty, Highland had the ball 1st and 10 on the 27 and decided to take some shots at the end zone. However, a hand off to Eli West and a short pass to Will Show came up short. On 4th and 4 on the 21 Fuhst's pass fell incomplete in the end zone and Hamilton took over on downs. With Hamilton's last drive, some of the bench decided to get in on the action. Reserve RB Kenny Myers had a couple big runs, and Hambsch had a couple nice keeper runs off the option. A pitch to Alexander around the left side capped the drive with a 20 yard touchdown and the icing on the cake for Hamilton, with a little less than 2 minutes left to play. The PAT was good and Hamilton went up 42 – 0. Highland had one last set of downs as the clock ran down and both teams left the field.



Bottom line: Hamilton started slow, but put on quite a display in the second half, spreading the ball around nicely. If Coach Belles has anything to work on after this game it would be the amount of penalties Hamilton produced. Highland was decent with the ground attack but Fuhst seemed to be over throwing his targets all night and did not connect with his receivers enough to show any sort of passing threat. Highland's Defense is its strength but the lack of consistent drives by the offense meant the D was on the field way too long. Hamilton used its weapons and wore down the opponent to keep its record clean on the year with no losses.


Game balls: For Hamilton the play of Drew Terrell really stood out tonight. Rushing yards, great catches, and some nice all around play rallied the Hamilton offense on several occasions. For Highland, Mike Madrid played at tailback, line backer, and even served as the team's punter. His play on both sides of the ball was effective with several hard fought rushing yards and a couple nice tackles on D.       

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