Hawks defy statistics, succumb to Tigers in opener

Flaugh rushes for 143 yards, Thompson 110 in loss; South Hardin minus-4 yards on ground

South Hamilton halfback Trevor Thompson (25) has his run to the outside stopped by South Hardin’s Taylor Kolthoff (left) and Waylen Butler during Friday’s season opener in Eldora. South Hardin scored the go ahead touchdown late for a 19-14 victory. DFJ photo/Tracy Runneberg

ELDORA — A head-scratcher right off the bat is not the way the South Hamilton football team envisioned the start of the season.

Statistically speaking, the Hawks dominated South Hardin at Tiger Field Friday night. But among the numbers were penalties and turnovers, two areas that South Hamilton also owned in a 19-14 loss to the Tigers.

“The stats kind of point to what ends up being the most important and that’s turnovers and penalties,” South Hamilton head coach Corey Klemp said. “We definitely lost in both of those and they proved to be the difference in the game.”

South Hamilton (0-1) coughed the ball up three times and was also flagged nine times for 85 yards, which both stalled drives and allowed the Tigers to keep the chains moving. South Hardin, meanwhile, never turned the ball over and committed only three penalties.

And there you go. The difference.

South Hardin ball carrier Brayden Harris is dropped by South Hamilton’s Cade Balvanz during Friday’s non-district game in Eldora. The Hawks lost their season opener, 19-14. DFJ photo/Tracy Runneberg

“There were a lot of things that we need to clean up,” Klemp said. “If we’re going to rely on getting calls or not getting calls, it’s going to be a long season.”

South Hamilton churned out 328 yards of offense to just 166 for its opponent. The run-stuffing Hawks held the Tigers to minus-4 yards on the ground, while South Hamilton accrued 312 yards courtesy of its backfield.

Want more? How about a 19-9 advantage in first downs for South Hamilton, or the fact it ran 76 plays to just 44 for the Tigers.

But the only numbers that mattered were 19 and 14.

“We knew this was going to be a tough game going in,” Klemp said. “Give a lot of credit to them because they had a good game plan. But if we get that kind of output offensively, we’re going to win a lot of games.”

South Hamilton halfback Brock Galetich breaks a tackle during Friday’s season opener against South Hardin in Eldora. DFJ photo/Tracy Runneberg

Hawks’ fullback Cade Flaugh rushed for a game-high 142 yards on 22 carries, while halfback Trevor Thompson picked up 110 yards on 25 totes. Halfback Brock Galetich added 59 yards on 13 attempts.

A 10-yard rumble up the middle by Flaugh staked South Hamilton to an early 7-0 lead, but South Hardin answered just before the end of the first quarter when Brayden Harris jumped on a fumble in the end zone to close the gap to one point.

The Tigers went to the razzle-dazzle late in the second quarter to take a 13-7 lead into the intermission. Quarterback Dalton Lake was actually on the receiving end of a 7-yard touchdown toss from Dante Dolash.

South Hamilton looked to reclaim the lead on its first possession of the third quarter, as it marched down to the Tigers’ 6. But a pair of penalties, including a personal foul, and a sack pushed the ball all the way back to the 37 and forced a punt.

Still trailing by 6 in the fourth, the Hawks went in front of a 3-yard Thompson touchdown and PAT by Cade Balvanz. But South Hardin once again answered, this time on a 46-yard touchdown heave from Lake to Waylen Butler with 6:47 remaining.

Hawks’ quarterback Freddie Lewis pitches the ball on Friday. DFJ photo/Tracy Runneberg

Outside of the long touchdown pass, South Hardin amassed just seven second half yards.

Lake completed 14 of 28 passes for 163 yards in the win. Beau Butler was his favorite target; he reeled in three catches for 75 yards.

Thompson and Brandyn Feighner both collected five tackles in the loss. Kyler Hodnefield was in on three stops.

Freddie Lewis got his first career start at quarterback for South Hamilton and completed 3 of 12 passes for 16 yards. Feighner made two catches and Galetich had one.

The Hawks head back on the road Friday night to take on Grundy Center at 7 p.m.

S. Hardin 19, S. Hamilton 14

Friday at Eldora

S. Hamilton 7 0 0 7 — 14

S. Hardin 6 7 0 6 — 19

Scoring Summary

First Quarter

S. Ham — Cade Flaugh 10 run (Cade Balvanz kick), 6:11.

S. Har — Brayden Harris fumble recovery (kick blocked), 0:17.

Second Quarter

S. Har — Dalton Lake 7 pass from Dante Dolash (Waylen Butler kick), 0:42.

Fourth Quarter

S. Ham — Trevor Thompson 3 run (Balvanz kick), 8:36.

S. Har — Butler 46 pass from Lake (pass failed), 6:47.

Individual Statistics

Rushing — S. Hamilton: Cade Flaugh 22-142, Trevor Thompson 25-110, Brock Galetich 13-59, Freddie Lewis 4-1. S. Hardin: Thain Friest 4-7, Taylor Kolthoff 4-3, Dalton Lake 5-(-14).

Passing — S. Hamilton: Lewis 3-12-1 16. S. Hardin: Lake 14-28-0 163, Dante Dolash 1-2-0 7.

Receiving — S. Hamilton: Brandyn Feighner 2-10, Galetich 1-6. S. Hardin: Beau Butler 3-75, Waylen Butler 1-46, Gavin Ridout 4-26, Brayden Harris 3-12, Lake 1-7, Kolthoff 1-4, Tyler Briggs 1-0.

Tackles — Thompson 5, Feighner 5, Kyler Hodnefield 4, Galetich 21⁄2, Lane Swenson 21⁄2, Flaugh 2, Colton Willis 2, Dominic Summers 11⁄2, Cade Balvanz 11⁄2, Lewis 1, Austin Busch 1, Jeremiah Smith 1, Brent Greenfield 1⁄2, Nathan Wilson 1⁄2.