Hawks lose turnover battle, game against W-G

WOODWARD – Careless with the football all night, the South Hamilton football team found out what happens when it finishes on the wrong end of the turnover battle here on Friday.

The owners of a plus-10 turnover margin prior to kickoff, South Hamilton fumbled twice, and Woodward-Granger’s Dylan Garland picked off a Collin Hill pass and returned it 62 yards for a touchdown to help his team win the non-district contest, 31-28.

Garland also found a seam and sprinted past the Hawks for a touchdown on an 83-yard kickoff return after South Hamilton had taken its only lead of the game in the third quarter.

“Turnovers and special teams made a huge difference,” South Hamilton head coach T.J. Schaefer said after his squad dropped its third game in its last four outings. “We rarely lose the turnover battle, but that comes down to me as the head coach. I didn’t have the team focused to play and that lack of focus definitely showed Friday night.”

Garland proved to be the biggest thorn in South Hamilton’s side. His interception return gave W-G a 6-0 lead less than two minutes into the game, and his kickoff return with 3:25 remaining in the third quarter pushed his team ahead 25-21.

Tanner Vermaas provided the dagger – a 75-yard touchdown scamper that made it a two-score game with 2:26 to go.

South Hamilton (3-3) dominated in terms of moving the ball with a 337-221 advantage in total yards of offense. According to quikstats.com, W-G listed its rushing game with 104 yards, but Schaefer said that total was actually 67 yards, according to the statistics in his possession.

“We had them with 67 yards and 75 of those came on one play,” Schaefer said. “We dominated the football game, but still lost.”

W-G quarterback Cole Ashman completed 6 of 13 passes for 117 yards, highlighted by a pair of second-quarter touchdown tosses. His 37-yard connection with Nick Squires put his team up 12-0; he found Alex Bodermann open for a 19-yard TD later in the period.

Sam Waid and Andy Cook both went over 100 yards rushing for South Hamilton. Waid churned out 117 yards on 14 carries, including a 1-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. Cook rushed 18 times for 114 yards, 24 coming on a TD sprint in the second quarter.

Hill notched his first and second touchdown passes of the season and finished 10 of 24 passing for 118 yards. Logan Klemp was on the receiving end of both aerial scores that covered 16 and 8 yards. The second TD toss came with just 25 seconds remaining in regulation.