No. 8 Ogden rallies from 3-TD hole to beat Hawks

JEWELL – South Hamilton threw one jab after another and had eighth-ranked Ogden on the ropes throughout the first half Friday night at Taylor Field.

There was just one problem – the Hawks never landed that knockout punch. And with 10 guys playing on both sides of the ball, eventually, they ran out of gas against the Bulldogs’ high-octane spread attack.

“That fact that we’re playing 10 kids two ways, it’s very tough to compete when you’re trying to play power football and then defend the spread offense,” South Hamilton head coach T.J. Schaefer said after his team let a 21-0 lead slip away in a 22-21 loss in Class 1A District 7 play. “I’m very proud of the boys. The effort was there … I just hope they realize how good they are and bounce back.”

Entering the game with the top-rated offense in the class, Ogden (5-0, 2-0) churned out 302 yards of offense, a nice output for most teams but 177 below its season average. South Hamilton (3-2, 1-2) did its part by playing keep away throughout the first half; the Hawks racked up nearly 20 minutes in time of possession and were on defense for just six plays in the first quarter.

Fullback Sam Waid bulldozed his way across the goal line three times on 1-yard touchdown runs to push South Hamilton to the lead.

Ogden seized the momentum with only eight seconds remaining in the first half when quarterback Cayce Good rifled a 5-yard touchdown strike to Graham Tews to start a 22-point surge that made the difference.

“That touchdown right before the half we were in our prevent defense,” Schaefer said. “If we would have been in our regular defense we probably would have shut that down, but those are the chances you take.”

Austin Lentz sliced South Hamilton’s lead to 21-14 on a 50-yard burst past the defense in the third quarter, and later in the period he dove across from the 1 for his second touchdown. A two-point pass from Good to Luke West put Ogden in front for the first time.

Lentz, third in the class with 941 yards rushing on the season, finished with 136 yards on 17 carries. Good completed 16 of 29 passes for 152 yards; six different receivers caught passes. Good was intercepted once by Collin Hill in the first half.

Schaefer felt his defense held up well against the attacking offense, but the Hawks paid dearly for a few blown assignments in the second half.

“We knew our schemes would work, it was just a matter of if we were in the right spots,” Schaefer said. “There were just a couple of times, on a few key plays, that we didn’t quite get in the right spots.”

Andy Cook was Mr. Do Everything for South Hamilton in the loss. The senior tailback lugged the ball 34 times for 140 yards, and he was also the leading receiver with five catches for 40 yards.

One of the 10 two-way starters, Cook also made a team-high eight tackles from his outside linebacker position.

“Andy Cook ran like a man possessed and caught any ball that was thrown in his direction,” Schaefer said. “He did everything we asked out of him.”

Waid fought for 51 rushing yards on 14 carries. Hill, the Hawks’ sophomore quarterback, made good on 9 of 17 throws for 107 yards. He was intercepted for the first time this season on the final drive of the game.

Logan Klemp (two catches, 29 yards), Landon Quam (one catch, 23 yards) and JD Rader (one catch, 15 yards) were also targeted by Hill.

South Hamilton will take a step away from the rugged District 7 landscape this Friday to take on Woodward-Granger (3-2) in its final non-district game of the season.

“It’s nice to get away from (the district) for a week as long as our boys stay focused and keep playing like they have been,” Schaefer said.

Woodward-Granger will enter the fray coming off a 48-0 blistering of Southeast Valley on Friday.