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Hawks face first real test against No. 8 D-NH

Thompson has proven to be an elite Class 1A?player

South Hamilton halfback Trevor Thompson (25) runs past a Madrid defender in the open field last Friday in Madrid. The Hawks will face No. 8-ranked Dike-New Hartford this evening in Dike. DFJ photo/Angela Hewitt

JEWELL — South Hamilton’s last visit to Dike-New Hartford wasn’t a lot of fun — a 42-8 beating in the first round of the Class 1A playoffs two seasons ago. But the one Hawk player that stood out on that crisp evening was a sophomore linebacker with a bright future.

It was you, Trevor Thompson.

Thompson has lived up to the promise too, and through two games this season he’s been one of the elite players in the class. He’ll return to Dike this evening along with his teammates looking to dole out some payback.

Unbeaten South Hamilton (2-0) will look to see where it stacks up against 1A District 3 favorite and eighth-ranked Dike-New Hartford (1-1) this evening at 7 p.m. The Hawks haven’t talked about two years ago — heck, they don’t even care. All they want is a chance to prove they belong.

“Dike-New Hartford is a storied program in terms of football lore,” South Hamilton head coach Corey Klemp said. “It’s great to be playing football right now and, secondly, we get to see where we stand with a team like that or a program like that.”

Thompson’s play on both sides of the ball has been instrumental in the Hawks’ fast start. In lopsided wins over Roland-Story (42-8) and Madrid (45-6), he’s rushed for 299 yards and five touchdowns, and also made 14 tackles.

“He’s playing to the expectations that I knew he was capable of,” Klemp said of his 6-foot-1, 210-pound senior. “Last year, you would have seen a lot of this same stuff if it hadn’t been for that high ankle sprain in Week 2. He still had an exceptional year last year, but it hindered him some.”

Thompson has stayed away from injuries so far this season (knock on wood) and the results have been impressive. Offensively, he’s a bull that moves the pile. And defensively, he’s always around the ball, which could take him to the collegiate level.

“I think he’s very capable at the next level,” Klemp said of Thompson. “Defensively, he flows to the ball exceptionally well and he has good vision.”

Thompson and his defensive teammates will have to be at their best this evening against an athletic Dike-New Hartford unit that will spread the field. Quarterback Nathan Moore has completed nearly half of his 31 passes, and running back Drew Larson averages 9.5 yards per carry.

South Hamilton hopes it will have a physicality advantage.

“They’re going to be very disciplined and they’ll be athletic,” Klemp said. “We’ve got to be able to match those traits and we have to be physical.

“I really think it’s going to be a great test for both teams.”

Dike-New Hartford is coming off a rare lopsided loss against top-ranked (Class A) Grundy Center, 35-0, seven days ago. Klemp knows the Wolverines will be hungry, so offensive execution will be a must. South Hamilton has moved the ball at will in its previous two games, but has at times been its own worst enemy with untimely penalties and turnovers.

“We’re our biggest proponent or biggest opponent,” Klemp said. “This group is very physical, but we’ve got to be cautious about not getting in our own way sometimes.”

TONIGHT: SOUTH HAMILTON AT DIKE-NEW HARTFORD

Where: Dike.

Time: 7 p.m.

Records: South Hamilton 2-0, Dike-New Hartford 1-1.

Last year: Teams have not played since 2018.

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