By Thomas Baker, BCHSSReport.com
BATAVIA — The Big Blue from Hamilton opened their season up Friday night at West Clermont with a 21-7 victory.
While game time was delayed 30 minutes due to inclement weather, Hamilton wasted no time once the ball was in the air.
Big Blue sophomore Kaleb Johnson took his first two carries for 55 yards, setting up a touchdown run by Keyshawn Stephens on Fourth-and-goal to put Hamilton up 7-0.
After a quick 3-and-out by West Clermont, Hamilton marched right back down the field on a 46 yard pass from Quincy Simms-Marshall to Stephens. That set up a Stephens touchdown pass to Daryan Bowling to go ahead 14-0.
After 3 straight turnovers by each team, Hamilton was able to put 7 more points on the board on a 4-yard run by Johnson that made it 21-0 — a lead the Big Blue would take into the half.
In the fourth quarter, West Clermont (0-1) took advantage of a Simms-Marshall interception, and a couple of pass interference calls, to get into the end zone on a 1-yard touchdown run by Donté Turner pulled it to 21-7.
Hamilton intercepted a pass by Turner with 3:21 left in the game and was able to run the clock out from there.
It was the first win as Hamilton’s head coach for Nate Mahon, who was hired in the off-season after leading Little Miami to their first playoff birth since the first George Bush was in office.
“They played hard,” Mahon said of his squad. “It wasn’t always pretty, but they played very, very hard. It masks a lot of issues when you just play really hard and with a lot of energy and emotion, and play as a team.”
Mahon was especially pleased with how his defense performed.
“I loved the team defense,” Mahon said. “We could be even more dynamic on offense if we didn’t shoot ourselves in the foot, but all-in-all, beautiful.
“We ended the game in a victory formation,” Mahon added, “and that’s as good as it gets.”
Johnson rushed for 148 yards on 14 carries for the Big Blue, while Stephen finished with 71 yards on 22 carries.
The Wolves only mustered up 66 total yards of offense.
Hamilton (1-0) will try to make it two in a row next Friday at home against Anderson.
Hamilton 14 7 0 0 — 21
West Clermont 0 0 0 7 — 7
HAM — 7:19 Keyshawn Stephens 1 YD RUN (Rios KICK) 7-0
HAM — 1:58 Daryan Bowling 7 YD PASS FROM Quincy Simms-Marshall (Rios KICK) 14-0
HAM — 7:37 Kaleb Johnson 4 YD RUN ( Rios KICK) 21-0
WC — 6:49 Donte Turner Jr 1 YD RUN (Kyle Walker KICK) 21-7