On Wednesday, Hamilton football coach Steve Belles alluded to where Saturday's Division I state championship would be decided.

"Can we score enough to keep up with them?" Belles said of Mountain Pointe.

No, the Huskies could not.

Mountain Pointe entered the game averaging 48 points per game, second was in Division I. Hamilton was 13th and 25 points a game.

Saturday's final? 42-19 in favor of the Pride.

"We wanted to keep it as close as we could and we couldn't at the end," Belles said afterward. "They were that much better of a team tonight. "... They have great team speed. It was like when I was in college at Notre Dame playing a Miami team. They recover for their mistakes with their athleticism."

The Huskies, who lost three games in a season for the first time in program history, finished with just 233 total yards.

Hamilton's first touchdown came thanks to great starting field position and one key run by Tyrell Smith. The Huskies' second score on via a punt return and the third was well after the outcome was decided.

"I don't really know what happened. To be honest, I really don't," said Smith, who rushed for 69 yards on 15 carries. "We definitely didn't run the ball as much as I thought we were going to, especially coming off a game (vs. Chandler in the semifinals) with 32 carries. We went out there and did the best we could."

Quarterback Sam Sasso didn't have much more of an explanation.

"We just stalled out," the senior said.

Both Sasso and Smith agreed the Huskies had chances early to seize control of the game. Mountain Pointe committed many unforced penalties and didn't get its offense on track until late in the second quarter.

"That was the game. If we could have capitalized on those (opportunities) that would have been the game," Smith said. "We would have had all the momentum and we would be state champions right now."

Belles credited Mountain Pointe for keeping down his team.

"They played that way from the start of the year until the end," said Belles, who moved to 5-3 in state championship games. "We're not a huge come-from-behind team. We got it close in the third quarter there and had a chance. We just couldn't stop them."

Contact writer: (480) 898-6549 or cgabel@evtrib.com.

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