BLAIRSBURG - Quality, not quantity, produced stellar results for the Northeast Hamilton football team during the final night of the regular season here on Friday.
At first glance the final score may look out of hand. The reality is the Trojans did everything in their power to pull off the throttle.
Northeast Hamilton scored eight touchdowns on just 15 first-half plays in sending CAL to its 54th consecutive loss, 72-12, on the Trojans' homecoming.
DFJ photo by Tracy Runneberg
Northeast Hamilton’s Gunther Range (39) soars to deflect a pass thrown by CAL’s Kainen Braun (5) on Friday in Blairsburg. NEH rolled to a 72-12 victory.
Four of the touchdowns occurred on the initial five plays from scrimmage and after 12 minutes Northeast Hamilton had piled up a 48-point lead in the Class 8-man District 2 contest.
NEH led 64-0 at halftime and amassed 262 yards during the first 24 minutes. The Trojans averaged 17.4 yards per play.
"Our execution was excellent and we did everything we wanted to do," NEH head coach John Seiser said about his team's final tune-up before it begins postseason play on Wednesday. "We needed to get a little bit of a boost after the last couple of weeks."
NORTHEAST HAMILTON 72, CAL 12
CAL 0 0 0 12-12
NE Hamilton 48 16 8 0-72
NEH - Gunther Range 52 pass from Logan Seiser (run failed), 11:45.
NEH - Tyler Smith 61 run (pass failed), 10:18.
NEH - Nick Jeffers 8 run (run failed), 8:47.
NEH - Seiser 10 run (T. Smith run), 8:26.
NEH - T. Smith 27 pass from Seiser (T. Smith run), 5:37.
NEH - Range fumble recovery in end zone (run failed), 4:48.
NEH - Gabe Rapp 10 run (T. Smith run), 1:57.
NEH - Seiser 20 run (Tristin Knudsen run), 6:39.
NEH - T. Smith 2 run (G. Rapp run), 2:00.
NEH - Jeffers 9 run (Kyler Rapp run), 6:39.
CAL - Taylor Rapp 4 run (run failed), 9:07.
CAL - Fumble recovery in end zone (kick blocked), 4:23.
RUSHING - NEH: Tyler Smith 5-99, Gabe Rapp 3-39, Nick Jeffers 4-19, Logan Seiser 2-30, Kyler Rapp 6-35, Hunter Dilley 2-12, Zac Hassebrock 5-19.
PASSING - NEH: Seiser 2-3-0 79; T. Smith 1-1-0 15.
RECEIVING - NEH: Gunther Range 1-52, T. Smith 1-27, Seiser 1-15.
TACKLES (Leaders Only) - NEH: G. Rapp 13, Austin Smith 10, Jonathon Eggleston 9, Seiser 7.
But Seiser admitted there wasn't much enjoyment in dominating the Cadets (0-9, 0-7). CAL has won just once since it joined the 8-man ranks in 2004 and hasn't tasted success since Week 9 of the 2007 season.
"As a coach I'm just glad it's over because it's not real enjoyable. CAL plays hard, and I'm just happy we came out of it healthy," he said.
The starters at the skill positions played minimally for NEH (6-3, 4-3) after the opening quarter. The continuous clock began at the start of the second quarter.
Gunther Range ignited the early flurry with a 52-yard touchdown reception from Logan Seiser, and Range recovered a fumble in the end zone later in the period.
Logan Seiser, who was named homecoming king during a halftime ceremony, also ran it into the end zone from 10 yards away in the first. Tyler Smith scored on a 61-yard scamper and a 27-yard toss from Seiser. Nick Jeffers followed up a Logan Seiser blocked punt with an 8-yard sprint to the house, and Gabe Rapp notched the seventh TD of the quarter on a 10-yard rumble with 1:57 left.
Logan Seiser's second rushing touchdown - this one covered 20 yards - and fourth overall of the first half increased the Trojans' lead to 56-0 midway through the second quarter, and Smith scored again on a 2-yard plunge with two minutes left before the break.
Smith, who entered the game second in the class in yards rushing, finished with 99 on just five touches. Seven ball carriers combined to pile up 253 yards on just 27 totes - an average of 9.4 yards per attempt.
Smith injured his knee during a Week 7 win over Laurens-Marathon and was limited in a Week 8 loss to G-T/R-A, so getting him some light work was one of the many positives to come out of the bout.
"Tyler's healthy and he's ready to go (for the playoffs)," John Seiser said. "We wanted him to play some, but not enough that he could take any unnecessary shots."
Logan Seiser added 109 yards of offense - 79 passing and 30 rushing. He also notched seven tackles, including a sack, on defense.
Jeffers' second rushing touchdown came from 9 yards away in the third quarter. He put up 19 yards, while Rapp chipped in 39 to go along with a team-high 13 tackles at linebacker.
Austin Smith finished with 10 tackles; he also had a sack and recovered a fumble. Jonathon Eggleston was in on nine stops.
It was 72-0 in the Trojans' favor when CAL scored a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns.
NEH will now begin preparations for Wednesday's first-round playoff test against eighth-ranked and defending state champion Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. from Marcus.
MMC's lone loss was a Week 2 28-18 setback to fourth-ranked West Bend-Mallard.
NEH also lost to West Bend-Mallard, 60-18, in Week 3.
"They're just a very solid team and I haven't found a weakness on them yet," John Seiser said of MMC. "We have to play well defensively because they're not going to beat themselves.
"But I definitely think we can move the ball on them. There are some things we can definitely do against them."