FAUCETT, Mo. — Hamillton’s season didn't end quietly, as the Hornets gave No. 1 seed Mid-Buchanan all they could handle up until the final minutes of the Class 1 District 7 championship.
In the end, the Dragons summoned the wherewithal they needed to pull out their closest game of the season and beat the Hornets 20-14 on Friday in Faucett.
“This is an emotional one, man. A lot of people have no idea what adversity these guys have battled. We didn’t play great and Hamilton is the reason for that because they played so well and really got after us,” Fritz said. “This one’s for the people who question these kids and question everything we do, because we came out and battled tonight. Hopefully this memory lasts a long time.”
Hamilton (8-6) in particular dug themselves into a hole early on, suffering a few first quarter fumbles and a surrendering a stampeding 32-yard touchdown run by Brayden Burleson to give the Dragons an early lead.
But with three seconds on the clock and Mid-Buchanan (13-1) in the red zone, Hamilton found itself down just 6-0 despite their numerous faux pas.
Unfortunately, their struggles weren't quite over. A series of penalties gave the Dragons the ball at the 1-yard line with no time left on the clock. Quarterback Javan Noyes made them pay for their mistakes with a scrambling pass to junior T.J Runyan to go up 14-0 at the half.