THE PUNISHERS: No. 9 Hawks run all over South Hardin, win easily again
JEWELL — South Hardin knew what was coming, how could it not? And yet the Tigers were powerless to stop it.
Whether the call was a run to the left, a run to the right, or a run right up the middle, South Hamilton’s blockers up front — Austin Busch, Landon Stolee, Elijah Balderas, Ethan Young, Dominic Summers, Colton Willis and Carter Hewitt — lit up South Hardin Friday night at Taylor Field and opened gaping holes for the Hawks’ backs to run through.
It. Was. Impressive.
“The game is won at the line of scrimmage and those guys have done a phenomenal job,” South Hamilton head coach Corey Klemp said about his offensive line after his ninth-ranked Hawks put a 28-6 beating on South Hardin. “You give them as much credit as you can, but it’s never enough because they really do set things up for the offense.”
And when you combine an imposing offensive line with a human bulldozer like halfback Trevor Thompson, well, now you understand why South Hamilton has dismantled every team on its schedule.
Thompson rushed for 174 yards and two touchdowns, and fellow halfback Brock Galetich sliced his way for 109 yards and a score, as South Hamilton (4-0) scored the game’s final 28 points to hand South Hardin (3-1) its first loss of the season.
The Hawks rushed for 349 yards and attempted just one pass — a 19-yard completion from quarterback Freddie Lewis to Galetich out of the backfield late in the third quarter. Fullback Lane Swenson added 45 yards and a touchdown, and Lewis kept the Tigers honest on option keeps around the end to the tune of 32 ground yards.
South Hamilton’s rushing dominance allowed it to control time of possession in massive chunks. From the 12-second mark of the first quarter to the 8:57 mark of the third quarter — a span of 15 minutes, 15 seconds — South Hardin ran just three offensive plays. During that stretch, the Hawks expanded their lead from 8-6 to 22-6.
“When I draw it up in my mind, that’s the perfect scenario, those long drives,” Klemp said. “It eats up the psyche of the other team too, and that’s a credit to the whole (offensive) unit.
“We honestly do have a passing game that’s waiting when we need it.”
South Hardin struck first on a 10-yard touchdown run by quarterback Dante Dolash — the first deficit South Hamilton has faced all season. The Tigers moved the ball through the air early on and Dolash finished with 142 yards passing on 11 of 17 completions.
But the Hawks answered on a Swenson 9-yard score late in the first.
And over the final three periods, it was all South Hamilton.
Starting at their own 14 on their next possession, the Hawks methodically moved 86 yards down the field on 17 plays that chewed 8:45 off the clock. Thompson capped the marathon journey with a 10-yard burst over the left side.
Thompson increased the lead to 22-6 with 8:57 remaining in the third period on an 8-yard jaunt. It capped an eight-play, 65-yard drive in which Thompson inflicted punishment on seven carries that produced 60 yards.
“You’re either getting hit or delivering a hit, and he definitely delivers,” Klemp said of Thompson. “The linemen feed off that too, seeing how hard the backs are running. That’s why they work so well together; they see how hard each is working.”
Galetich’s 1-yard plunge with 1:15 remaining was the culmination of a 13-play drive that traveled 80 yards.
South Hardin only threatened the Hawks’ side of the field once over the final three periods, but it was thwarted on a Lewis interception. The Tigers finished with 215 yards, 134 of them coming from Beau Butler rushing and receiving.
“I give a ton of credit to South Hardin. I thought they had a really good looking team,” Klemp said. “The Dolash kid at quarterback was impressive and Bulter was all of what we thought he would be. But our physicality wore on them throughout the game.”
Swenson and Thompson both made five tackles to lead the South Hamilton defense. Busch added 41⁄2 more.
South Hamilton 28, South Hardin 6
Friday at Jewell
S. Hardin 6 0 0 0 — 6
S. Hamilton 8 6 8 6 — 28
SHAR — Dante Dolash 10 run (kick blocked), 5:15.
SHAM — Lane Swenson 9 run (Brock Galetich run), 1:54.
SHAM — Trevor Thompson 10 run (run failed), 3:27.
SHAM — Thompson 8 run (Thompson run), 8:57.
SHAM — Galetich 1 run (run failed), 1:15.
Rushing — S. Hardin: Beau Butler 10-61, Justin Gethman 3-7, Dante Dolash 5-5, Cody Dupee 1-3, Nathan Coffman 3-(-3). S. Hamilton: Trevor Thompson 26-174, Brock Galetich 19-105, Lane Swenson 8-45, Freddie Lewis 6-32.
Passing — S. Hardin: Dolash 11-17-1 142. S. Hamilton: Lewis 1-1-0 19.
Receiving — S. Hardin: Butler 5-73, Ryan Walters 2-44, Mason Sheldahl 2-14, Coffman 1-9, Dupee 1-2. S. Hamilton: Galetich 1-19.
Tackles — S. Hamilton: L. Swenson 5, Thompson 5, Austin Busch 41⁄2, Galetich 31⁄2, Colton Willis 31⁄2, Kyler Hodnefield 3, Carter Hewitt 3, Dominic Summers 21⁄2, Lewis 2, Elijah Balderas 2, Tycin Barkema 1, Gavin Swenson 1, Landon Stolee 1.