Hawks take out their anger on Woodward-Granger
SH races out to quick 21-0 lead, wins the turnover battle 4-0 en route to first victory of season
JEWELL — Corey Klemp was being sarcastic, but there was plenty of truth in what he was saying.
“Oddly enough, we create four turnovers and don’t give up any turnovers and we win a game,” Klemp, South Hamilton’s head coach, said. “Our thing has always been we control the ball and don’t turn it over and opportunities will present themselves. But the first two weeks it was the opposite.”
To put it another way — win the turnover battle, win the game. It’s that simple.
South Hamilton did just that for the first time this season Friday night at Taylor Field, as it forced Woodward-Granger to cough up the ball four times in a 28-14 victory. Making their home debut, the Hawks (1-2) took out their frustrations by scoring 21 unanswered points in the game’s initial nine minutes and W-G never got closer than the final score.
Following back-to-back losses to open the season, games in which South Hamilton had trouble hanging onto the ball, Friday’s performance couldn’t have come at a better time.
“These last couple weeks haven’t set well with the kids,” Klemp said. “That and the combination of playing at home, they were just really fired up and really played inspired.
“They had high expectations on themselves coming into the season and the way they’ve handled that adversity, I couldn’t be more proud of them. It would have been easy to fold and mail it in, but that’s not what they’re made of.”
South Hamilton was without starting halfback and linebacker Trevor Thompson, who is still nursing a high ankle sprain suffered in Week 2, but Lane Swenson stepped in and rushed for 43 yards and a touchdown. Quarterback Freddie Lewis also helped to pick up the slack with his best performance — 3 of 5 passing for 110 yards and a score — and fullback Cade Flaugh bullied his way to 107 yards and a touchdown between the tackles.
“Lane had an outstanding game … he did everything that was asked of him and more,” Klemp said. “Freddie’s confidence, you can just see it growing from week to week. He was really in control of things.”
And there was so much more.
Brandyn Feighner reeled in two of Lewis’s passes for 95 yards, including a 62-yard touchdown on the Hawks opening possession that set the tone. And just over one minute later, Kyler Hodnefield stepped in front of a pass by W-G quarterback Reese Jamison for an interception that he returned 69 yards to the 1-yard line. One play later Flaugh dove over the top for a quick two-touchdown lead.
“(The first TD) pass definitely got the train rolling,” Klemp said. “Then Kyler stepping up and making a big play, that was key as well. As the game wore on, we started having some injuries, but there were kids stepping in and stepping up all over the place. It was really a great team victory.”
Feighner’s second reception, which covered 33 yards, set South Hamilton up to score again on a Brock Galetich 1-yard run to make it 21-0.
Up 21-6 at halftime, the Hawks increased their advantage on Swenson’s scoring jaunt that covered 9 yards with 7:59 remaining in the third. Another W-G turnover, a fumble recovered by Dominic Summers inside the red zone, set up the touchdown.
Galetich and Lewis also intercepted Jamison. The W-G signal caller had his moments though, as he completed 8 of 20 passes for 187 yards and two TDs. Bryce Achenbach was on the other end of scoring tosses of 74 and 20 yards; he finished with six receptions for 150 yards.
But South Hamilton limited the ground game of W-G (2-1) to only 120 yards; it averaged 422 over the opening two weeks of the season. Kade Polich led the way with 63 yards on five carries, but Tate Lettow, the team’s leading rushing, was held to just 42 yards on 20 totes.
Hodnefield was South Hamilton’s top tackler with 61⁄2. Colton Willis finished with 51⁄2 stops, while Summers and Jeremiah Smith added 41⁄2 each.
W-G out-gained South Hamilton, 307-287. Galetich added 33 yards on the ground.
The Hawks will stay at home this week for a homecoming date with Manson-Northwest Webster Friday night.
S. Hamilton 28, W-Granger 14
Friday at Jewell
W-Granger 0 6 0 8 — 14
S. Hamilton 21 0 7 0 — 28
SH — Brandyn Feighner 62 pass from Freddie Lewis (Cade Balvanz kick), 9:37.
SH — Cade Flaugh 1 run (Balvanz kick), 8:07.
SH — Brock Galetich 1 run (Balvanz kick), 3:00.
W-G — Bryce Achenbach 74 pass from Reese Jamison (kick failed), 10:01.
SH — Lane Swenson 9 run (Balvanz kick), 7:59.
W-G — Achenbach 20 pass from Jamison (Tate Lettow run), 4:33.
Rushing — W-G: Kade Polich 5-63, Tate Lettow 20-42, Reese Jamison 5-15. SH: Cade Flaugh 24-107, Lane Swenson 15-43, Brock Galetich 8-33, Freddie Lewis 2-(-6).
Passing — W-G: Jamison 8-20-3-2 187. SH: Lewis 3-5-0-1 110.
Receiving — W-G: Bryce Achenbach 6-150, Cale Pritchett 2-37. SH: Brandyn Feighner 2-95, Cade Balvanz 1-15.
Tackles — SH: Kyler Hodnefield 61⁄2, Colton Willis 51⁄2, Jeremiah Smith 41⁄2, Dominic Summers 41⁄2, Austin Busch 4, Galetich 31⁄2, Feighner 3, Flaugh 2, Balvanz 11⁄2, Swenson 11⁄2, Lewis 1, Ethan Young 1.