State title game: Sidebar - Hamilton struggles from get-go - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Prep Sports

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State title game: Sidebar - Hamilton struggles from get-go

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Posted: Saturday, November 26, 2011 5:45 pm

GLENDALE - As Saturdays go, this one will go down as one of the worst in the young history of Hamilton High School.

Its dominating football team, its state championship football team, became fodder on the biggest high school football stage in Arizona Saturday at the University of Phoenix Stadium.

The Huskies were drubbed by the Desert Vista Thunder, 45-19.

"They outplayed us all over the field," Hamilton coach Steve Belles said.

It was shocking considering these numbers.

Hamilton was riding a 53-game winning streak and had won the last three state championships. During the regular season Hamilton had beaten Desert Vista, 35-10. This was going to be another celebration for the Huskies.

It didn't happen. Heck, the Hamilton fans started packing up and leaving with five minutes to go in the game. Even the equipment guy was taking down the kicking net with several minutes still on the clock.

"The streak was in the back of our minds, but all we wanted was a state championship. We didn't get the gold," Hamilton running back Clayton Stanchik said. "This is tough trying to make it through this."

Hamilton's staunch defense came into the game limiting teams to just under 10 points per game. The Huskies (13-1) gave up 45 points, the most any team has ever scored against Hamilton.

Desert Vista didn't punt once which means the Hamilton defense didn't stop the Thunder offense at all.

To top off the miserable day for the Huskies was this. On his final play as a member of the Hamilton football team, Kendyl Taylor scored a touchdown. He also suffered a knee injury and had to use crutches to exit the field after the game. His final game was sensational as he caught 11 passes for 123 yards and two touchdown.

This was not an easy way to the end season for the Huskies. Some players did not handle it well as they drew three unsportsmanlike penalties late in the game. But for many of those players it was the first time they had suffered a beat down like the Thunder gave them on the football field.

Late in the game Belles told them "you need to handle yourself with class."

And after one player exited the field after receiving a penalty he told him, "We are not going to do this."

For the most part the Huskies kept their composure while the Thunder celebrated.

Because Hamilton's defense couldn't stop Desert Vista, the Huskies offense suffered. They had the football just 17:39 in the game compared to 30:21 for the Thunder.

Hamilton's offense had a sideline seat to a show they didn't like seeing.

"That was extremely frustrating," said Stanchik, who played for Desert Vista's freshmen team before transferring to Hamilton. "We scored when we got the football, but our defense couldn't stop them."

There will be more Saturdays and better days for the Husky football team. The only problem is they will have to wait another eight months to start a new streak.

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Jason P. Skoda
  • Jason P. Skoda
  • Sports writer
  • Resident sports writer at the Ahwatukee Foothills News

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