It certainly wasn't the prettiest of games
Then again, when you're the coach on the winning side of a blowout defeat over your alleged arch-rivals, maybe it's fair to say there are few things more beautiful than seeing a " zero" on the opposition's side of the scoreboard.
On Thursday night, Hamilton didn't need the high-octane offense or late-game heroics to dispatch Chandler, for the Huskies rode their stifling defense and big-play "mojo" to a 28-0 win in the Division I state quarterfinals.
The Huskies play next week against No. 4 Desert Ridge, a team it defeated 28-6 in mid-September and in last year's 5A Division I championship.
"They're a great team. The team we played in the finals, and they gave us everything we wanted," Belles said. "It's going to be a hard fought game."
It was another fruitless battle of Arizona Avenue for the visiting Wolves.
"Our defense played outstanding, and our offense the first half got off to a quick start," said Hamilton coach Steve Belles, who led the Huskies to their 52nd consecutive win overall, and 16th in a row over its most natural of rivals. "To get a shutout is huge against an offensive team like that."
Hamilton's offense played this game with a systematic approach: Seven points in the first quarter (a 19-yard option keeper by quarterback Blake Kemp), another touchdown early in the second (a 9-yard highlight-reel run around the red zone before reaching the end zone by Hakim Mathieu), and one with a few minutes to go in the first half (a 15-yard touchdown from Kemp to his favorite target, Kendyl Taylor).
To close things out, a long 53-yard touchdown pass from Kemp to Taylor was the dagger early in the fourth.
But if the Husky offense could be called brutally efficient, it was the Hamilton defense that played with a bit of wreckless abandon - even if it had a little bit of help from the Wolves themselves.
By the time Hamilton (12-0) took a two score lead early in the second quarter, Chandler (8-4) had just 22 yards on 11 offensive snaps, and 30 yards in penalties.
The Wolves finished with just 66 yards rushing on 28 carries as a team, and penalties were a problem throughout. Chandler recorded a half-dozen false-start flags that killed drives before they started.
"Just too many mistakes," Chandler coach Shaun Aguano said. "You can't do that against a team like (Hamilton). They won't let you come back."
When the Wolves weren't shooting themselves in the foot offensively, Hamilton's defensive line wasn't showing much mercy.
The Huskies sacked Chandler quarterback Darell Garretson six times, including three by Calvin Thomas and two by defensive captain Jaxon Hood, who channeled his inner Michael Jordan the second time he reached the quarterback.
Hood didn't celebrate by typical standards. Rather, he stood up, looked at the Hamilton sideline, lifted his hands in the air, and shrugged his shoulders as if to say "Who, me?"
"It means everything," Thomas said of pitching the shutout. "The past week, Chandler's coach Aguano talked about how he wanted to beat us bad, but Coach Belles got us fired up last week to get after them. We wanted to play our last game at home the best, so the zero means everything."
On offense, Hamilton's spread the wealth amongst its running backs. No player had more than eight carries while the team ran for 152 yards on 33 attempts.
Kemp, meanwhile, completed 12 of 21 passes for 173 yards and two scores. Taylor had five catches for 97 yards and caught both those touchdowns.
Chandler's Garretson completed 14 of 27 passes for 130 yards, and was picked off by Hamilton's Cole Luke in the second quarter.
While Hamilton moves on in pursuit of its fourth consecutive state title, Chandler's season ended again before the Wolves could reach either of two elusive prizes: A state championship of its own, or that defining win over Hamilton.
"It's going to happen - eventually," Aguano said of Chandler breaking into the win column. "I hope soon. Hey, 52 other teams haven't beat them either ... but it's going to happen."