MIAMI - After playing a nearly perfect game, the Chandler Hamilton football team could only laugh about one noticeable post-game blunder: The championship trophy broke. A minor mishap, as the Huskies defeated Miami Booker T. Washington, 37-19, in the Miami Sports Kickoff Classic Friday at Traz Powell Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.
"We can fix [it] with some super glue," said a smiling Steve Belles, Hamilton's head coach. "We're just glad that we have the trophy,"
The Huskies, who along with about 100 fans and supporters made the nearly 2,000 mile trip to Miami, shocked a boisterous Washington team, gaining 362 total yards (187 passing and 175 rushing) and forcing three turnovers.
The win gave Hamilton a victory over Florida's defending 4A state champion and the Miami Herald's preseason No. 1 team, although Booker T. Washington's enrollment is more than a thousand fewer students than Hamilton's and there are two larger classifications in Florida prep football while Hamilton plays in Arizona's largest classification.
Hamilton got on the scoreboard midway through the first quarter by capitalizing on a Tornado turnover.
Set up with great field position, the Huskies capped off a five-play drive with a 6-yard touchdown run by junior running back Zachery Bauman.
The score was a portend of things to come, as Bauman rumbled his way to four rushing touchdowns, gaining 74 yards on 17 carries.
Bauman said he got a funny feeling down near the goal line.
"I knew they were coming to me, and I was ready for it," Bauman said.
"I just have to give my offensive line credit for putting in the hard work and opening up the lanes for me to run through."
After Hamilton took the early lead, Booker T. Washington responded on its next possession as quarterback Torrance Moise found Quinton Dunbar in the corner of the end zone for a 9-yard TD pass.
The Tornados missed the extra point.
Leading 76 early in the second quarter, the Huskies then capitalized on another Tornado fumble and extend their lead to 146 on another Bauman touchdown.
Hamilton took a 17-12 lead into halftime as junior kicker Yannick Metz boomed a 28-yard field goal through the uprights as time expired.
The Huskies kept things rolling in the third quarter and were able to stymie the Booker T. Washington offense; holding them to just 69 total rushing yards and 210 yards passing yards.
Offensively, Hamilton extended its lead to 30-12 before the Tornados, by then, out of the game, were able to respond again.
Leading 30-19, the Huskies added a few style points to their victory late in the fourth quarter when senior quarterback Zakary Hambsch found tight end Taylor Grove in the front of the end zone for a 16-yard touchdown pass.
Belles said that he and his kids felt privileged to participate in the game.