October 30, 2004
In an attempt to hand No. 4 Hamilton its second consecutive loss and pull his team into a share of the lead in the wild Fiesta Region, Gilbert head coach Jesse Parker put the pressure on the Huskies’ defense in the fourth quarter of Friday’s game at Gilbert High.
Hamilton’s defense won the battle.
A goal-line stand early in the fourth quarter kept Gilbert out of the end zone and Hamilton pulled out a difficult 10-7 win over the Tigers in a defensive showdown full of daring calls by both coaches.
Hamilton running back Cody Engelbrecht carried 12 times for 120 yards and scored his team’s only touchdown on a 35-yard run on a fourth-and-1 play early in the third quarter.
But it was the goal-line stand that saved the day for Hamilton.
"You’ve got to play great defense to win and we did tonight," Hamilton coach John Wrenn said. "I’m really proud of our defense."
A 34-yard field goal by Hamilton’s Dominic Papa with 3:47 to play in the third quarter seemed to have the Huskies (8-1, 4-1) in the driver’s seat, but the Tigers (5-4, 2-2) then appeared to have pulled to within four points on a 59-yard Bobby Ili run into the end zone. But Ili (24 carries, 101 yards) was ruled down at the 3-yard line thanks to a touchdown-saving tackle by Daniel Hill.
Ili then had three tries to score, gaining half a yard each time before a 5-yard penalty moved Gilbert back to the 6. After a timeout, Parker passed up the field goal and had quarterback Kyle Newhall-Caballero try to throw from the 6. A defensive holding call gave Gilbert one more shot, but Ili was stopped at the 3 on fourth down.
The stand was critical as Gilbert managed to score on its next possession. Newhall-Caballero led the drive, hitting Michael Neilson on a 39-yard pass play to the Hamilton 9 and then finding Micah Parker with a 9-yard scoring pass to pull the Tigers to within 10-7 with 3:21 left.
Gilbert never got the ball back as Hamilton quarterback Travis Dixon completed a pair of critical passes to Jesse Matlock, the second on a fourthand-5 play from the Gilbert 25 for a 12-yard gain that iced the game and ran out the clock.
Dixon finished the game 7-of-18 for 129 yards after not completing a pass on six tries in the opening half.
"We’ve got to treat every game like it will be a tough game," Dixon said. "We can’t take anything lightly."