Going into the playoffs, teams like to be playing well and firing on all cylinders. Hamilton accomplished that goal with a 52-7 rout of Corona del Sol in Friday night's regular-season finale.
Hamilton (8-2) lost its opening two games of the year, causing many people to doubt this team and wonder if the normally dominant Huskies weren’t as good as they are accustomed to being. Since then, Hamilton has ripped off eight consecutive wins, leaving all those doubts as a thing of the past.
Against Corona (4-6), the offense may have had its most complete game of the season. The Huskies raced out to a 22-0 lead and didn’t look back.
Quarterback A.J. Thigpen threw for 183 yards and three touchdowns while going 11-for-16 passing and added 95 more yards and a score on the ground. Running back Frankie Felix also had 74 yards on the ground and two touchdowns to go along with 84 receiving yards and a touchdown. As a team, Hamilton rushed for 314 yards.
“Obviously it’s important to be playing well heading into the playoffs,” Thigpen said. “We just got to make sure we’re clicking on all cylinders: run game, pass game, blocking. We do that and I think we’re going to be a great team.”
The Hamilton defense also had a big game, holding a potent Corona offense that had been averaging just over 27 points a game coming into the contest to just seven points. Star running back James Contes, who was averaging about 135 yards per game, was limited to just 93 yards on 20 carries.
Corona did move the ball well against this defense on a few occasions, but the Huskies stopped them when it mattered most, forcing three turnovers and stopping the Aztecs on fourth down four times.
“Our defense has been playing great all year,” Thigpen said. “As long as they keep that going and our offense gets going, we’re going to be a hard team to stop.”
Corona del Sol coach Tom Joseph was impressed by Hamilton.
“They’re the best overall team we’ve faced all year. They are disciplined all the way around, in all aspects of the game.”
Hamilton 8 21 22 0 -- 52
Corona del Sol 0 7 0 0 -- 7
First Downs: 21 17
Rushing: 27-314 44-179
Comp-Att-Int 1-18-0 4-14-1
Passing Yards 183 42
Fumbles- Lost 2-2 3-2
Penalties-Yards 10-115 11-78
H- Felix 10 run (Beemiller run)
H- Thigpen 4 run (Wichman kick)
H- Felix 82 pass from Thigpen (Wichman kick)
C- Kinney 50 run (Niemtschk kick)
H- Simpson 8 pass from Thigpen (Wichman kick)
H- Felix 6 run (Wichman kick)
H- Smith 16 pass from Thigpen (Wichman kick no good)
H- Wichman 24 FG
H- Glover 1 run (Wichman kick)