By Melissa Meador/Monroe Journal
OKOLONA – After a season-opening loss, Hamilton’s offense showed it wasn’t going to be slowed down for long on Thursday night, getting in the end zone eight times for a 54-14 win over Houlka.
“Overall I thought we improved on a lot of things from last week,” Hamilton coach Ray Weeks said. “We were sloppy at times, but we worked on mistakes and played better.”
Quinshay Heard’s arm put the Lions on the board early in the contest. After three-and-out drives for both teams, He hooked up with Cole Richardson for a 41-yard scoring pass.
The Lions got the ball back on the Houlka 41 four plays later. A 30-yard run by Deion Howard opened up the drive, and he scored again two plays later on a 9-yard run.
Richardson and Heard would hook up again for a long scoring play two drives later, this one a 76-yard pass.
Houlka quarterback Wyatt Esterley put the Wildcats on the board with nine minutes left in the half, ending a 10-play drive with his 4-yard scoring run.
Heard stretched the Lions’ lead on the next drive with a 31-yard run to set up his 4-yard run for the score to get a 34-7 lead going into halftime.
“It felt good to bounce back like that,” Howard said. “It gives us a lot of confidence to get that win going into next week.”
Hamilton wasted no time stretching its lead in the second half with Heard hooking up with Howard on a 42-yard TD pass two minutes into the second quarter. Howard’s 33-yard run two plays later put Hamilton up 48-7.
Keyshon Heard added another TD late in the game.
Houlka running back James Buggs got the Wildcats in the endzone on the ensuing drive with his 14-yard scoring run.
“We had 20 guys healthy this week,” Houlka coach Rob Allen said. “My boys never laid down. Hamilton just made a lot of very good adjustments from last week.”