JEWELL - The points came in bunches, but the gaudy offensive statistics didn't tell the story.
This was all about the defense; the ball-hawking, aggressive and menacing defense.
Looking to validate a last-second Week 1 victory over Roland-Story, the South Hamilton football team showed no signs of a letdown in a 52-12 rout of Woodward-Academy at the Mike Penning Athletic Complex Friday night.
DFJ photo by Tracy Runneberg
South Hamilton sophomore fullback Sam Waid (35) plows forward up the middle before being hit by Woodward Academy’s Michael Cooper on Friday.
The Hawks (2-0) forced five fumbles - they recovered four of them - and scored multiple touchdowns off the turnovers to earn their third victory in as many seasons over the Eagles (0-2).
Woodward Academy mustered just 120 yards of total offense, 68 coming on one play - a long touchdown run by Andrew Caulker midway through the third quarter after South Hamilton (2-0) already led 31-6. The Eagles limped into the locker room at halftime with just 6 yards while staring at a 31-0 deficit.
"Our defense dominated," South Hamilton head coach T.J. Schaefer said. "That group has played outstanding all year and that's what you've got to do to win ballgames."
Woodward Academy 0 0 12 0-12
South Hamilton14 17 21 0-52
SH - John Hegland 28 pass from Matt Hislop (Jacob Haugland kick), 3:23.
SH - Justin Shepherd 24 pass from Hislop (Haugland kick), 0:00.
SH - Sam Waid 5 run (Devin Howard run), 9:22.
SH - Safety
SH - Howard 2 run (Haugland kick), 1:27.
WA - Robert Armstrong 9 run (kick failed), 10:45.
WA - Andrew Caulker 68 run (kick failed), 8:10.
SH - Lane Heinlein 9 run (Haugland kick), 4:48.
SH - Howard 17 run (Haugland kick), 3:34.
SH - Howard 24 run (Haugland kick), 0:26.
Rushing - SH: Devin Howard 17-82, Matt Hislop 10-52, Garrett Evans 6-38, Sam Waid 7-29, Andy Cook 4-23, Lane Heinlein 3-9.
Passing - SH: Hislop 5-10-1 99, Lucas Olson 0-1-0 0.
Receiving - SH: Triston Twedt 1-24, John Hegland 2-41, Justin Shepherd 2-34.
Tackles (Leaders only) - SH: Sam Waid 19, Jacob Haugland 8, Josh Lutter 9, Shepherd 5.
Middle linebacker Sam Waid was everywhere. He racked up 15 solo tackles and assisted on eight others to help frustrate Woodward Academy throughout the 48-minute affair.
"(Waid) was our all-star. He played just insane," Schaefer said.
Josh Lutter had seven solo tackles, Jacob Haugland rolled up six, and Justin Shepherd collected two sacks.
South Hamilton led 14-0 after one quarter, courtesy of a pair of touchdown passes from quarterback Matt Hislop, and the Hawks tacked on 17 more points in the second period to essentially put the game away.
Tight end John Hegland caught a pass over the middle and then pulled a few Eagle defenders with him for a 28-yard touchdown reception with 3:23 remaining in the first quarter. Shepherd - the other tight end in the Hawks' scheme - reeled in a 24-yard reception on the final play of the initial stanza to give South Hamilton the two-touchdown lead.
The Hawks' ground game began to take off in the second quarter, as fullback Sam Waid bulldozed his way across the goal line from 5 yards out and tailback Devin Howard jetted in from the 2. In between the defense scored a safety.
Howard tacked on touchdown runs of 17 and 24 yards in the third quarter, and fellow tailback Lane Heinlein struck paydirt from 9 yards away.
Howard ran the ball 17 times for 82 yards, part of South Hamilton's 332 yards of total offense. Hislop gained 52 yards on 10 totes, and Garrett Evans finished with 38 yards on six carries. Waid went into the teeth of the defense seven times and accumulated 29 yards.
Still, Schaefer says there's ample room for improvement before the Hawks begin district play this week against always tough Dike-New Hartford (2-0).
"There were some bright spots on offense, but we're not blocking real well right now and that has got to improve," he said. "We need to do a better job in all aspects of the game."
Hislop completed 5-of-10 passes for 99 yards. Hegland was on the receiving end twice, covering 41 yards. Shepherd also had two catches for 34 yards, and Triston Twedt - a senior who made the game-winning catch in the win over Roland-Story - had one reception or 24 yards.
Schaefer knows Friday's road showdown with the Wolverines will be a step up in competition. Dike-New Hartford outscored its first two opponents - Grundy Center (43-7) and Gladbrook-Reinbeck (35-0) - by a combined score of 78-7.
"They're a disciplined team, but I know we can compete with Dike," Schaefer said. "We're going to have a pretty tough week of practice to get ready because it's not impossible for us to play with them."