East Hamilton looked to have its hand full early in the second of Friday’s game against Tyner.
The Rams, who moved the chains just four times in the first half, had just completed a physical 12-play, 80-yard scoring drive on the opening series of the third quarter to pull to within 10.
Looks can be deceiving.
“We knew that they were coming out with their best shot, hoping to get back in it,” East Hamilton head coach Ted Gatewood said. “We knew we were going to have to come out and answer whatever they threw at us.”
What followed was three unanswered touchdowns from the Hurricanes, and another convincing District 6-AA victory for East Hamilton – 37-6 over Tyner.
Immediately following the Rams’ score, the Canes put together a 10-play, 58-yard drive, and senior running back Logan Jackson barreled into the end zone from 3 yards out with 2:47 left in the third quarter.
“That was crucial,” senior offensive tackle Fielder Dennis said. “We had to set the tone offensively and show them how physical we were. Luckily it worked out.”
Jackson finished with 207 yards and three touchdowns, including a 35-yard burst up the middle midway through the first quarter to spot the Canes a 10-0 advantage.
“He makes us look good sometimes,” Dennis said. “Sometimes we make him look good. It’s real balanced. He’s a really smart runner, and I’m glad he’s on our team.”
The 6-1, 205-pound senior added his final touchdown midway through the fourth quarter, a 7-yard run to extend his team’s lead to 31-6.
“We’ve talked to our kids all along, we’ve got to beat good football teams,” Gatewood said. “That is a good football team. We’ve got to respond when we face some adversity, and I was proud of our kids.
“They’re raising the bar right now.”
East Hamilton (7-1, 5-0), which outgained Tyner 332-209, ran for 310 yards and five touchdowns. Junior quarterback Hunter Moore scored on a 1-yard quarterback sneak, senior Dallas Hammond nearly found the end zone on a 25-yard, fourth-quarter run, and sophomore Matt Milita sprinted 67 yards for a touchdown on his only carry.
The Rams (5-3, 3-2), who used 10 different ball carriers in the contest, racked up just 80 yards on the ground, but senior running back Joseph Sturkey did manage the first touchdown against East Hamilton’s defense in 10 quarters.
Sturkey finished with 35 yards on seven carries.
Tyner quarterback Tony Walton had some success – mostly in the short passing game – but the senior was picked off three times. He finished with 122 yards through the air.
Michael Murphy covers high school athletics for Nooga.com. Follow him on Twitter @MichaelNooga.