Chargers snap to it
Hamilton junior Isaiah Webb (5) breaks through the Menomonee Falls defensive line during the game at Hamilton on Friday, Sept. 20. Photo by: Scott Ash
Every year when they meet, it's something special. On Sept. 20 between the hedges at Stan Grove Field, it also marked the triumphant return of the Sussex Hamilton football team following a rough loss one week earlier.
Hamilton broke open a 14-14 tie with 13 seconds remaining before intermission in the annual border battle with Menomonee Falls. After the Indians were forced to punt on fourth down, but the snap sailed several feet over the Indians' punter, who was in full retreat and downed at the Menomonee Falls 4-yard line. On the next play, head coach John Damato called on his big time fullback, and senior Drew Patterson slammed in for the touchdown.
From there it was all Hamilton, which scored another 21 unanswered points in the second half, to ultimately cruise past its arch-rival, 42-14. It was a stunning score against a Falls team that came in with a 4-0 overall record, one week after Hamilton scuffled against Brookfield East.
The Chargers, Falls, and Brookfield Central now all hold 2-1 records in the Greater Metro Conference, with Marquette (3-0) leading the way.
Hamilton, which outgained the Indians in total offense, 444-292, got three touchdowns from junior wing back Isaiah Webb on runs of 57 yards, 61 yards and five yards. He ended up rushing 10 times for 188 yards in the game. Patterson, who also scored on a 9-yard run in the first quarter with 1:01 showing on the clock, had 28 touches for 153 yards.
Those kinds of ground gains are impressive but wouldn't be possible without the services of guys along the offensive line like junior Patrick Jene, sophomore Jacob Merkel, junior Mike Fryda and senior Zach Gaatz.
"The O-line did a fantastic job tonight," junior quarterback Mike Barnes said. "They never get the credit they deserve. They do all the dirty work nobody wants to do."
Barnes threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to junior wing back Tyler Davis on 4th and 5 with 1:05 to play in the third quarter.
Menomonee Falls got 199 yards and a touchdown from senior running back Christian Almonte. The other touchdown for the Indians was a pass play from senior quarterback Adam Vechart to senior split end Daniel Dahlke covering 11 yards.
On defense, the Chargers got outstanding containment on the outside from senior defensive backs Ryan Warzon and Mark Radcliffe, in on several tackles that forced the Indians to second and third down and long situations. Senior defensive lineman Bryce Figueroa took away a lot of running room for the Indians as the game unraveled. Senior linebacker Noah Nagel led the team with seven and a half tackles.
"We didn't make plays when we had to and tonight Hamilton beat us up," Menomonee Falls head football coach John Baker said. "Hats off to them. They made plays and they executed, playing a great football game."
The air-mailed snap could also be called an early Christmas present for the Chargers.
"Yeah that got us going; I think they knew we were going for the punt block at that point, and that might have had something to do with it," Hamilton head football coach John Damato said. "They kind of wrapped up that gift for us, but we'll take it."
Hamilton gets its chance against Marquette next week and thus controls its own destiny in the chase for at least a piece of the GMC title.
"This was a situation where we needed a win tonight and found a way to get it," Damato said. "I really believe Menomonee Falls is every bit as good as the two teams that beat us, and it won't get any easier next week against Marquette, a team that's getting better each week."
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