September 11, 2004
A 22-point win over then sixth-ranked Dobson in its season’s debut a week ago could have had No. 5 Corona del Sol thinking it would soon move into the exclusive class of 5A teams that have a shot at a title.
But, No. 1 Hamilton, with something to prove this week, told the host Aztecs that they have a ways to go — a considerable ways to go.
In a game that one Corona coach referred to as the biggest football game at Corona in roughly five years, the defending champions clobbered the host Aztecs, 42-7, in 5A non-region play in front of a packed house at Corona’s Hascall Henshaw Stadium.
The Huskies (2-0), narrow survivors a week earlier at Mountain View by a 21-20 score, took advantage of two Corona (1-1) turnovers deep in its own territory, returned a punt for a touchdown and converted a fake punt for an 81-yard touchdown run during a dominant first half to build up a five-touchdown lead at the intermission. Running back Cody Engelbrecht carried nine times for 208 yards, including the fake punt to help put together what Hamilton coach John Wrenn believed was a much better performance than a week ago.
"When you win 21-20, it’s not good enough anymore," Wrenn said. "People start questioning us. . . We had something to prove. It was a great week to play. (Corona) was the fifth-ranked team in the area and all this, so we had something to prove."
Hamilton began to lower the boom on Corona’s second drive. Corona’s Brad Hall carried for seven yards to the Corona 33 and appeared to be stopped three yards shy of a first down. But, a whistle was never blown and Hamilton’s Jim Rogers came out of the scrum with the football and returned it 23 yards to the Corona 9. Corona coach Gary Venturo called a timeout to argue the call, but to no avail, and Engelbrecht later carried it in from 2 yards out for a 7-0 lead.
Later in the quarter, Hamilton quarterback Travis Dixon (8-for-14, 113 yards) connected with Mekell Wesley on a 48-yard pass play to the Corona 10 and then hit Lucas Kirkland in the end zone for a 14-0 lead. The Aztecs’ defense appeared ready for the satisfaction of holding Hamilton to three plays and out on Hamilton’s next possession until Engelbrecht took a short snap in a punt alignment and raced 81 yards for a 21-0 lead early in the second quarter.
"When they lined up the way they lined up, I just couldn’t resist," Wrenn said.
A Wesley 60-yard punt return for a touchdown and Engelbrecht’s third TD run gave Hamilton a 35-0 lead at the half. Corona quarterback Jake Nero’s 66-yard touchdown pass to Blaise Johnson in the fourth quarter avoided the shutout.