Hamilton dismantled Mesquite, 48-7, in 5A Division I quarterfinal play Friday night, the Huskies' 38th consecutive victory, which includes a 13-0 run this season.
With state championships the past two seasons and no blemishes on their record since 2008 (an early season loss to Peoria Centennial), you'd think the top-seeded Huskies would be hard pressed to find a score or two to settle out there in 5A-I land.
Not so. There's that little “tussle” with Mountain Pointe during a summer passing league game that has been on the minds of several Hamilton players this season.
Bring on No. 5 Mountain Pointe (10-2), the Huskies' semifinal foe on Dec. 3 at a neutral site yet to be determined. The Pride defeated Brophy, 13-12, on Friday night.
“Looking forward to it,” Hamilton coach Steve Belles said. “Our kids are very excited about playing them.”
Huskies players weren't too forthcoming with details about their summer rumble with the Pride, but several admitted there were disagreements and confrontations between players as well as coaches.
“We had a little tussle with them in passing league, so we're gunning for them, definitely,” said Hamilton senior Malcolm Holland, one of the stars from Friday's win over Mesquite with two interceptions and an electrifying 55-yard punt return that set up a touchdown.
With no official score being kept in that summer passing league game against the Pride, many Hamilton players weren't willing to admit that Mountain Pointe might have been the victors in the scrimmage. Others believed the Huskies were on the losing end of it.
“It was a close game,” Holland said. “We'll see with the pads on.”
It certainly won't leave Hamilton grasping for motivation.
“It's definitely going to be a hyped up game,” quarterback Kyren Poe said. “We'll be fired up.”
The Huskies weren't lacking for anything Friday against Mesquite. The offensive line blew open holes and the running backs, namely Jai Johnson (70 yards and three touchdowns on 15 carries), broke several tackles when the holes closed up. “I thought we dominated the line real well … offensively and defensively,” Belles said.
The Huskies ran for 282 yards and the offensive line did it for the second week in a row without stalwart tackle Christian Westerman Jr., who sat out with small fractures in his left leg. Belles said the Texas-bound lineman could've played Friday, but the coach didn't want to risk further injury. With a week off, Belles said Westerman might play against Mountain Pointe.
“They really filled in well for Christian not being here the last two weeks, and we'll get him back for the semifinals,” Belles said. “I know the guys are pretty excited about that.”
Hamilton build a 17-0 lead in the first half and scored on every possession in the third quarter to extend the advantage to 41-0.
Mesquite finally got on the board early in the final quarter when quarterback Steven Bevan hit tight end R.J. Rickert for a 13-yard TD to make it 41-7.