By Brandon Speck/Monroe Journal
HATLEY – Hamilton never forgot the 48-35 loss Hatley handed it last season at home.
Friday, through a physical and flag-filled H-Game, the Lions handed it right back with a 31-18 win at Hatley.
The Lions (3-1) also had in mind the late 34-20 loss last week at Kossuth.
“We lost last week and we had it on our shoulders,” Hamilton quarterback Zarrat Sims said. “We wanted to come out here and prove we were the better team.”
Sims, playing with an injured hand he suffered last week, scored on touchdown runs of 50 and 38 yards, the latter to ice it.
“We played about as ugly as we could play and were fortunate enough to win,” Hamilton coach Ray Weeks said. “It was a good physical game.”
Splitting time with Austin Welch, Sims ran for 150 yards on eight carries and saw teammate Deion Howard’s two long touchdown runs called back on block-in-the-back flags.
There were also back-to-back-personal fouls.
Hatley (2-2), which had five turnovers, three of them lost fumbles, had gotten with 10-6 on John Tubbs’ 29-yard touchdown catch from Caleb Walters before Hamilton pulled off a trick play just before the half.
Caleb Garvin lined up to punt from the Hatley 45 but on a fake threw to Howard who scored behind a trio of blockers. Sander Grondman’s point after made it 17-6.
“We saw it on film and thought we could get it off. It was a big play,” Weeks said. “It gave us a little bit of momentum.”
After Cojuante McMillian scored on a 4-yard run to put the Lions up 24-6 in the third, Hatley got a 4-yard run from Tyler Edwards to cut the lead to 12 with 7:05 to play.
After a failed onside kick and 48-yard Howard touchdown called back, Sims broke a pair of tackles for his second touchdown and Grondman’s fourth point after. Edwards added a 2-yard scored in the final minute.
“We were in the ball game all the way,” Hatley coach Sam Wilson said. “The kids played hard. We just made a lot of mistakes and we’ve got to find some way to overcome them.”
Hamilton scored the game’s first 10 points, the first seven as Sims raced 50 yards for a 7-0 lead. Later in the first, Grondman tacked on a 32-yard field goal for a 10-0 lead.