Hawks blank No. 8 Wolverines, go from hunter to the hunted
DIKE — In 48 muddy minutes Friday night, South Hamilton transformed from the hunter to the hunted in Class 1A District 3.
Keyed by a power running game and another stingy defensive effort, the Hawks dominated preseason district favorite and eighth-ranked Dike-New Hartford, 20-0, on the Wolverines’ home turf. The constant rain curtailed what South Hamilton was able to do offensively, but it didn’t diminish the effort or focus, head coach Corey Klemp said.
“It was a wet one and a little sloppy, but I won’t argue with the outcome,” he said. “The conditions took us out of what we wanted to do, but given the circumstances the boys played incredibly hard. In a couple situations there was some adversity and the kids really responded like they’d been there before. They didn’t panic and it was really encouraging to see.”
South Hamilton stepped onto the field looking to prove it belonged among the elite teams in the class. It succeeded, but will now have to live up to the expectations.
“We’re always knocking on that door and we finally got one,” Klemp said. “We realize that and there are some challenges that come with that too. But the maturity of our kids will lead them to prepare this week just like they did the previous week.”
South Hamilton (3-0) kept the ball on the ground throughout the contest and gouged Dike-New Hartford (1-2) for 193 rushing yards. Trevor Thompson chugged along for 99 yards on 26 carries, and the senior halfback scored all three of the Hawks’ touchdowns. Fullback Lane Swenson fought for 91 yards between the tackles and it was his big gain down inside the Wolverines’ 5 late in the first quarter that set up the only touchdown South Hamilton would need.
Dike-New Hartford limited Brock Galetich to four yards on five carries.
“Dike was really able to stack the box completely,” Klemp said. “We didn’t try to stretch things out. With our guys up front and with how physical our backs in general run the ball, we could still do the things we needed to do.”
South Hamilton forced the Wolverines into five turnovers — four fumbles and an interception. Dominic Summers flopped on two fumbles, while Kyler Hodnefield and Colton Willis both recovered one. Freddie Lewis came up with an interception.
Hodnefield’s fumble recovery near midfield late in the first quarter set the wheels in motion for the Hawks to take the lead. Following Swenson’s long run and the transition from the first to second quarter, Thompson took it in from the 1. Galetich added the two-point conversion to give the Hawks an 8-0 lead that they took into the intermission.
It remained a one-score game until the 4:50 mark of the fourth quarter when Thompson scored on a 3-yard burst. Another Wolverine turnover moments later gave South Hamilton a short field and Thompson cashed in on a 7-yard jaunt to put the game on ice with 3:14 remaining.
Dike-New Hartford was never able to get going against a Hawk defense that has allowed just 14 points in three games. The Wolverines amassed just 97 total yards and were limited to 12 offensive snaps in the second half.
Thompson was again the catalyst with 61⁄2 tackles from his middle linebacker position, and Austin Busch threw his helmet in on 51⁄2 stops. Summers and Elijah Balderas both collected five tackles.
“They had one pretty good drive at the end of the first half, but we stood tough when we had to,” Klemp said. “Overall we really controlled the game and in the second half had the ball for the majority of the time. Once we got the lead and with the way we were playing defensively, it was really about controlling the clock.”
After a two-week road trip, South Hamilton will return home to Taylor Field on Friday and will face a stiff challenge against unbeaten South Hardin (3-0). The Tigers opened their district slate with a 28-7 win over East Marshall on Friday and Klemp knows they won’t be intimidated.
“The reality is this is a really, really good South Hardin team coming in here on Friday,” he said.
South Hamilton 20, Dike-NH 0
Friday at Dike
SH 0 8 0 12 — 20
D-NH 0 0 0 0 — 0
SH — Trevor Thompson 1 run (Brock Galetich run), 10:49.
SH — Thompson 3 run (run failed), 4:50.
SH — Thompson 7 run (run failed), 3:14.
Rushing — Trevor Thompson 26-99, Lane Swenson 16-91, Brock Galetich 5-4, Freddie Lewis 8-(-1).
Tackles — Thompson 61⁄2, Austin Busch 51⁄2, Elijah Balderas 5, Dominic Summers 5, Colton Willis 31⁄2, L. Swenson 3, Kyler Hodnefield 3, Galetich 2, Carter Hewitt 11⁄2, Blake Harris 1, Tycin Barkema 1⁄2, Gavin Swenson 1⁄2.