Hawks let foot off gas in non-district loss to Ogden

OGDEN – Teams oftentimes play like they practice, a lesson the members of the South Hamilton football team learned the hard way here Friday night.

Following a subpar week of preparation according to head coach T.J. Schaefer, the Hawks were gutted by pass-happy Ogden in non-district play.

The Bulldogs (6-1) did what they wanted, when they wanted en route to 510 yards of total offense and a 26-23 victory – their first over South Hamilton in 18 years.

Ogden quarterback Caleb Fry completed 26 of 36 passes for 307 yards and one touchdown, while Austin Lentz took to the ground to accumulate 153 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 24 totes.

“We played like we practiced all week,” Schaefer said after his club had its three-game win streak halted. “We had a big win against (Aplington-Parkersburg) and a lot of the kids felt like we could show up and win and (Ogden) proved us wrong.

“This reflects back on me as a head coach because I didn’t get them ready enough.”

South Hamilton (5-2) finished with 251 yards of offense. Quarterback Matt Hislop was an efficient 10 of 19 passing for 135 yards and two scores. Zach Zoske caught both TD passes, covering 35 yards in the second quarter and 8 in the fourth quarter.

Zoske finished with 71 receiving yards on four catches. Trevor Ullestad made three grabs for 34 yards.

Devin Howard led the Hawks on the ground with 76 yards on 14 carries. He ripped off an 8-yard touchdown run in the second quarter to help South Hamilton build a 14-6 halftime advantage.

But Ogden took over in the second half, reeling off 19 straight points to jump in front for good.

Lentz powered his way into the end zone from 6 yards out for his second TD with 7:35 left in the third quarter, and 2 minutes later Fry and Luke West hooked up on a 26-yard TD pass.

Kolton Christle extended Ogden’s lead to 26-14 with 10:29 remaining on a 1-yard plunge across the goal line.

West – one of the leading receivers in Class 1A – hauled in eight catches for 107 yards. Twin brother Jake West made six catches that gained 65 yards.

“They’re a good offensive team and the timing on their routes, you can tell they’re extremely well-coached on that,” Schaefer said. “But we just didn’t play very aggressive. We were back on our heels too much and it seemed like we sat back and waited for them to make plays.”

Linebacker Sam Waid made nine tackles to lead the Hawks defensively. Max Reiter collected 8.5 stops.

If there was a bright side to the loss it was the fact that it will have no bearing on the Hawks’ postseason forecast. South Hamilton will get right back to District 3 play this week with a home date with winless Eagle Grove (0-7) on Friday at 7 p.m.

A victory would clinch a playoff spot for the Hawks and most likely send them into a Week 9 road game at Nashua-Plainfield with the district’s No. 2 seed on the line.

Schaefer says he hopes the loss to the Bulldogs taught his players that nothing can be taken for granted.

“We can’t take anybody lightly and I think this last week taught us that,” he said. “We’ve got to get out of the gates and play mistake-free football (on Friday), and if we do that I like our chances to win the ball game.”