Don’t look now, but Chandler Hamilton appears to be hitting its stride as we head into the regular-season’s stretch run.
Case in point Friday night as Hamilton had no problem breezing past host Mesa Dobson 56-0 in Division I contest.
It was the fourth straight victory for Hamilton, which improved to 6-2. It scored on eight out of its 10 drives while using four quarterbacks on the evening.
“We had way too many penalties, and that’s not real good football,” said coach Steve Belles, whose team was flagged 10 times for 105 yards. “But our offense was good and clicking on all cylinders. We moved the ball well.”
Chandler Hamilton took the opening kick-off 50 yards in five plays in just under two minutes, culminating with a 6-yard run by senior running back Frankie Felix.
Felix’s score was then followed by a 1-yard touchdown scamper by senior running back Kevin Walters and the rout was unfolding.
Junior quarterback Sam Sasso started the game for Chandler Hamilton and played most of the first half, completing 6-of-15 passes for 77 yards. Regular starting quarterback A.J. Thigpen got in some action, tossing two scoring strikes of 37 yards to senior wide outs Tyler Eggers, and then a 23-yard bullet to Cole Luke. Before you could blink, it was 28-0 at the end of the first stanza. Thigpen completed 4-of-5 passes for 110 yards in limited work.
Luke then sparked the special teams when he returned a punt 79 yards with 8:28 left in the second quarter.
“I just saw the opening and took off. The blocking was awesome,” Luke said on his second special teams score of the year. “This was a good game for us to spread the wealth, to get everyone some playing time.”
Walters then scored again, this time from a yard out to make it 42-0 with six seconds left in the half. Walters finished with 23 yards on four carries, while junior tailback Tyrell Smith led the rushing attack with 62 yards on seven carries.
Thigpen then dashed in from 10 yards out in the third quarter and junior tailback Ronaldino Hernandez completed the scoring with his 2-yard plunge with 8:40 left in the game.
Mesa Dobson fought valiantly all evening, but could only muster 163 yards of total offense, compared to 386 for Chandler Hamilton.
Senior defensive back Will Pounds picked off a Thigpen pass late in the first quarter for Mesa Dobson, which fell to 1-7. Senior quarterback Gabe Martinez was sacked three times on the evening but still managed to complete 14-of-26 passes for 146 yards.
“Hamilton is definitely one of those elite teams out there. They play hard-nosed football,” Dobson coach George De La Torre said. “It’s really neat that our kids fought hard the whole game. It’s things like that we need to keep building on.”