LATIMER - There was genuine concern in the Northeast Hamilton football camp that CAL had a shot to end its 44-game losing streak here Friday night.
It took less than five minutes for those worries to be put to bed.
On the strength of a 32-point first quarter, the Trojans (2-7, 1-6) ended their own seven-game skid at the expense of the Cadets, 70-6, in Class 8-man District 2 play on the final night of the regular season.
CAL (0-9, 0-7), which has not won since Oct. of 2007, gave up eight sacks and turned the ball over four times in a bout that was essentially decided when Northeast Hamilton rolled up 24 points in just 59 seconds of game time early in the opening quarter.
"CAL came out fired up and I really didn't blame them because they thought they could beat us," NEH head coach John Seiser said. "So that quick start is exactly what we needed because we didn't want to be in a dogfight with them."
Tyler Smith rushed for 122 yards and scored a pair of touchdowns in the rout. Andy Pate churned out 103 yards and rushed for two scores. Pate also notched two points on a safety and returned an interception 45 yards to the house.
Northeast Hamilton32 16 14 8-70
CAL 6 0 0 0-6
NEH - Noah Ronnfeldt 4 pass from Logan Seiser (Tyler Smith run), 9:33.
NEH - Austin Smith fumble recovery (pass failed), 8:39.
NEH - Safety Andy Pate, 8:28.
NEH - Seiser 44 run (T. Smith run), 7:59.
NEH - Pate 27 run (Pate run), 7:40.
CAL - Robert Pals 15 pass from Andrew Quinones (run failed), 1:01.
NEH - T. Smith 10 run (Seiser run), 7:58.
NEH - Pate 11 run (T. Smith run), 3:10.
NEH - T. Smith 1 run (run failed), 6:48.
NEH - Ronnfeldt 3 pass from Seiser (T. Smith run), 3:34.
NEH - Pate 45 INT return (Kyler Rapp run), 7:51.
Rushing - NEH: Tyler Smith 27-122, Andy Pate 13-103, Logan Seiser 3-58.
Passing - NEH: Seiser 2-4-0 7.
Receiving - NEH: Noah Ronnfeldt 2-7.
Tackles - NEH: Nick Jeffers 5, Seiser 4, Pate 4, Gunther Range 3, Austin Smith 2, Kyler Rapp 2, Ronnfeldt 2.
Pate, Logan Seiser and Noah Ronnfeldt all had two sacks. Austin Smith recovered two fumbles, one in the end zone for a score that ignited the first-quarter flurry.
"We just brought the house every time and that was the difference," John Seiser said. "We knew there was the possibility that we'd get burned on the outside, but we just brought everybody all the time and it worked."
Ahead 14-0 following the fumble recovery, NEH got a safety from Pate and a 44-yard touchdown sprint by Logan Seiser to push the cushion to 24-0. A second CAL fumble moments later set Pate up to gallop into the end zone from 27 yards out.
NEH, which will miss the playoffs for the first time since it joined the 8-man ranks in 2004, led 48-6 at the intermission and increased its lead to 62-6 after three periods courtesy of a 1-yard plunge by Tyler Smith and a second touchdown pass from Logan Seiser to Noah Ronnfeldt, this one covering 3 yards.
Nick Jeffers, seeing his first playing time of the season because of injury, led the Trojan defense with five tackles.
John Seiser admits that the season didn't go according to plan, and he says now the real work begins.
"We return a lot of experience next year and we're going to have to work a lot in the offseason to make ourselves physically stronger so we can match up with some of these teams," he said. "There's no doubt we'll get better."