Penney tops Valle Catholic in Class 1 semis

By Jason Viox Special to News-Press Now
Posted: November 19, 2016 - 10:52 PM

Class 1 football will see a new state champion crowned this year.

Hamilton had to face two deficits in its Class 1 state semifinal game at three-time defending state champion Valle, but the Hornets’ offensive and defensive lines set the tone for the rest of the team. Hamilton’s fourth touchdown drained more than six minutes off the clock, and followed it up with another quick score to dethrone the Warriors 33-19 Saturday at Father John Dempsey Field.

“They’re a great football team, and they have been for a long time,” said Hamilton’s coach Caleb Obert. “I knew that we had an opportunity. I knew that they would score and we would have to react to that, and we did. Our kids fought through adversity, which we have seen a couple of times, but we were able to get it done.”

Hamilton led 20-13 headed into the final frame as Valle faced fourth and one on the Hornets’ 40-yard line. Hamilton disrupted the line of scrimmage and stopped quarterback Mason Skaggs on a keeper to force a turnover on downs.

Hamilton quarterback Jaran Richman found La Troy Harper for an 11-yard gain to set up fourth and one on the Valle 37-yard line, and T.C. East picked up the crucial yard to move the chains. Richman connected with Derek Dixon for 24 yards, and Richman capped off the 12-play drive with a 2-yard run on fourth and one. East tacked on the extra point as the Hornets extended their lead to 27-13 with 4:16 to play.

Hamilton began that drive with 10:37 to go in the game.

“We had opportunities, and you’ve got to give them credit for getting the tough yards when they needed them,” said Valle coach Judd Naeger.

Hamilton took over on downs again, and its next score wouldn’t take nearly as long. Brock Swindler broke free down the right sideline for a 45-yard score for the Hornets’ last score of the game at the 3:19 mark.

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