St. Joe LeBlond almost ends Penney's streak
By Matt Gleaves The St. Joseph News-Press
Bishop LeBlond was halfway to ending Hamilton’s 39-game win streak and sneaking into the state playoffs Thursday night.
But the Golden Eagles couldn’t compete with an awakened Hamilton offense in the second half. The No. 2-ranked Hornets ripped off 19 unanswered points in the second half to lock up the Class 2 District 16 championship 31-13 at Eagle Stadium.
Junior running back Derrick Hughes took four straight handoffs to start the half and quickly punched in his only touchdown of the night. The four-play, 54-yard drive took just 1 minute, 42 seconds and put the Hornets in front for good.
“We came out and took LeBlond more seriously and just blocked better in the second half,” Hughes said.
Derrick Hughes’ twin brother, Devan, helped put the game out of reach late in the fourth with a fake-toss pass to T.J. Schieber for a 22-yard gain. A face-mask penalty on the play put the ball on the 2-yard line.
After two negative gains, freshman Kellen Overstreet busted off a 13-yard touchdown run through the heart of LeBlond’s defense to seal the victory.
“We bit on the toss fake and let the receiver get just a step in front of our defensive back,” LeBlond coach Tony Dudik said. “We were going to get a pass interference penalty either way, so I can’t fault the kids’ effort for recovering and trying to make a play.”
Hamilton’s first half was one to forget.
LeBlond’s Austin Dawkins’ 122 rushing yards — the junior finished with 148 — single-handedly outgained Hamilton’s offense that mustered just 82 in the half.
Still riding the momentum of its first win of the season last week, LeBlond (1-9) ran over Hamilton’s defensive front line and confused the Hornets’ offense the entire half.
“Our game plan was to use Austin and come out there and punch them right in the mouth,” Dudik said. “I think it worked for most of the first half, too.”
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