No. 6 Titans pull away from Hawks in 4th quarter

SCC controls clock and piles up more than 400 yards of offense, limits SH to 142 yards

South Hamilton defensive tackle Dominic Summers (center) wraps up South Central Calhoun running back Keagen Meyer (47) near the line of scrimmage during Friday’s Class 1A District 2 showdown in Lake City. No. 6-ranked SCC escaped with a 21-6 win. DFJ photo/Tracy Queen

LAKE CITY — For three quarters, the South Hamilton football team stared sixth-ranked (Class 1A) South Central Calhoun in the eye and didn’t blink here Friday night.

By the time the fourth quarter rolled around, the two-way playing Hawks were almost too tired to keep their eyes open.

Utilizing its superior depth and ball-control offense, South Central Calhoun scored in the closing seconds of the third quarter to take control and added an insurance touchdown midway through the fourth to pull away from the Hawks, 21-6, in the District 2 showdown.

The Titans (6-0, 2-0 District 2) entered the game having outscored their opponents 204-21, but hanging around wasn’t good enough for South Hamilton (3-3, 1-1).

“I was real proud of the way we came into this game without any fear of anything,” South Hamilton head coach Corey Klemp said. “We had an expectation to play with them and win the game. But as our kids will tell you, a loss is a loss regardless of who it comes (against).”

South Hamilton’s Lane Swenson (15) celebrates after recovering a fumble against No. 6-ranked South Central Calhoun Friday night in Lake City. DFJ photo/Tracy Queen

It was death by a thousand paper cuts for South Hamilton. SCC owned the time of possession by running 67 plays to just 36 for the Hawks. The Titans piled up 412 yards of offense, 374 of them on the ground, to only 142 for Klemp’s club.

It wasn’t that South Hamilton couldn’t move the ball against the SCC defense. It was that the Hawks couldn’t seem to ever get the ball.

“Part of our lack of offensive production was due to their offensive production,” Klemp said. “We just didn’t have a lot of opportunities offensively.”

Blake McAlister rushed for 161 yards and a touchdown on 16 touches for the Titans. Landon Schleisman picked up 79 yards and reached the end zone twice, and Keagen Meyer added 73 more ground yards. SCC only attempted seven passes.

Trevor Thompson made a season-high 12 tackles for South Hamilton. Jeremiah Smith, Lane Swenson and Colton Willis all had 71⁄2. Swenson also recovered a fumble and Brock Galetich came up with an early interception that led to the Hawks only touchdown.

Yes, the Hawks gave up a ton of yards, but sometimes you simply have to tip your cap to the opposing team.

“They’re balanced enough and deep enough that you can’t just say we’re going to stop this kid. They’ve got a lot of just this kids on their team and that’s what makes them a top-five team,” Klemp said.

Fullback Cade Flaugh led the South Hamilton offense with 74 yards on 15 carries. Thompson churned out 36 yards at halfback, while quarterback Freddie Lewis completed 2 of 7 passes for 27 yards. Austin Busch made a 22-yard grab.

Galetich’s pick of Titans’ quarterback Cole Corey on the third play of the game set up a Thompson 6-yard TD run and the Hawks maintained a 6-0 lead until the latter stages of the second quarter.

Schleishman found the end zone from 2 yards out and Zane Neubaum connected on the PAT with 3:09 to go before the half to give the Titans a 7-6 lead. McAlister added a 9-yard gallop to the house late in the third quarter to extend the lead and Schleisman essentially put the Hawks away with a 10-yard TD at the 7:40 mark of the fourth.

Klemp said the majority of his guys played on both sides of the ball and the workload eventually caught up to the Hawks.

“We told our guys going in that there were a lot of kids that we couldn’t give breaks. We were going to go as hard as we could for as long as we could,” Klemp said. “It was good enough for about three quarters, but then we just got worn down more than anything.

“I’m tremendously proud of the effort. This is maybe the best football we’ve played all year.”

South Hamilton will return home to Taylor Field Friday night to take on Pocahontas Area. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

SCC 21, South Hamilton 6

Friday at Lake City

S. Hamilton 6 0 0 0 — 6

SC Calhoun 0 7 7 7 — 21

First Quarter

SH — Trevor Thompson 6 run (kick failed), 4:16.

Second Quarter

SCC — Landon Schleisman 2 run (Zane Neubaum kick), 3:09.

Third Quarter

SCC — Blake McAlister 9 run (Neubaum kick), 0:08.

Fourth Quarter

SCC — Landon Schleisman 10 run (Neubaum kick), 7:40.

Individual Statistics

Rushing — SH: Cade Flaugh 15-74, Trevor Thompson 9-36, Freddie Lewis 2-4, Brock Galetich 3-2. SCC: Blake McAlister 16-151, Landon Schleisman 20-79, Keagen Meyer 11-73, Brennan Holder 5-38, Jordan Khommanyvong 3-17, Cole Corey 3-16, Josh Henkenius 2-0.

Passing — SH: Lewis 2-7-0-0 26. SCC: Corey 2-5-1-0 17, Henkenius 2-2-0-0 21.

Receiving — SH: Austin Busch 1-22, Brock Galetich 1-4. SCC: Zane Neubaum 1-17, Meyer 1-9, Khommanyvong 1-8, Daniel Stevens 1-4.

Tackles — SH: Thompson 12, Jeremiah Smith 71⁄2, Lane Swenson 71⁄2, Colton Willis 71⁄2, Brandyn Feighner 5, Dominic Summers 4, Galetich 31⁄2, Busch 3, C. Flaugh 3, Cade Balvanz 2, Sheldon Tapper 2, Carter Balvanz 1⁄2, Nic Flaugh 1⁄2, Landen Skartvedt 1⁄2, Gavin Swenson 1⁄2.