COFFEEVILLE – Hamilton’s offense struggled to find its rhythm, and Coffeeville took advantage Friday night in a 34-0 win to secure the Division 1-1A title.
“We played good defense but we played on our side of the field the whole first half,” Hamilton coach Ray Weeks said. “We couldn’t get anything going offensively, and when you give a team like that so many offensive reps, they’re going to make the plays. We got behind the chains in the first half and fell behind the eight-ball.”
Hamilton (8-3, 6-2) forced a three-and-out on the first two Pirate drives, before quarterback Kendarius Cauthern broke free for a 37-yard TD run. Cauthern also had a three-yard QB keeper in the fourth quarter.
In the second quarter, Antavius Moody added a nine-yard scoring run and Bobby Townsend a one-yard TD. Coffeeville (8-3, 8-0) took one of the three picks from Quinshay Heard to the house in the third quarter for a 42-yard score.
Hamilton’s most promising drive came near the end of the second with Heard hooking up with younger brother Keshon Heard for a 45-yard pass, but a penalty for an illegal receiver downfield negated the play.
The Lions found themselves in Coffeeville territory twice in the second half, but after a first-down toss to Austin Bishop, Heard was picked off by Townsend at the Pirates’ 34-yard line. A sack ended another drive after Hamilton got down to the Coffeeville 13.
“They were just bringing everyone on their line, and we knew they would and worked on that,” Weeks said. “They were just so fast that we couldn’t get away from them.”
Hamilton’s first-round playoff opponent could be one of three teams but the Lions know they will be on the road.
“We’re used to being the road warriors,” Weeks said. “Our guys are resilient and will bounce back. We’re glad to be in the playoffs and survive to play another week.”