Blogs / Features
Les WillseyStaff Writer, AIA365.com email@example.com
Hamilton's big plays in final 90 seconds upend BashaOct 19, 2012
There apparently was no senior-itis this week for Hamilton seniors Luke Parrish, A.J. Thigpen and Tyler Eggers.
The trio, along wiith all their schoolmate,s returned to classes Wednesday after a 2 1/2 week fall break. On the football field they were present and accounted for and made the big plays in the final 90 seconds Friday night that allowed Hamilton to stave off upset-minded Basha, 31-24, in a thrilling Division I clash at Hamilton's Jerry Loper Field.
In a game that see-sawed back and forth all night, Hamilton had to rally in the fourth quarter to keep its unblemished, all-time mark against Basha intact.
Basha took its final lead of the game, 24-21, on a 2-yard touchdown run by Brandon Marxman with 8:03 to play in the game. That was set up by a 54-yard, fourth-and-one run by Basha quarterback Zach Werlinger on a keeper where the intent was to get two yards and move the chains.
Hamilton managed to tie the game at 24 three minutes later on a field goal by sophomore kicker Brandon Krcilek after an efficient march. The teams traded punts on their next possessions and that left 1:30 on the clock and Basha with the ball at its own 43.
On Basha's first play Werlinger tried to throw a slant over the middle, but Hamilton linebacker Luke Parrish made the pick. He returned it to Basha's 43 where the Huskies had the chance to score and win.
Forced to a fourth-and four at the Basha 37 with 45 seconds left, Hamilton had senior wide out Eggers head straight down the right sideline and go for broke with a bomb from quarterback Thigpen. Eggers beat the coverage and the throw was perfect. Eggers was forced out of bounds at the Basha 4 with 37 seconds left. Two plays later junior running back Tyrell Smith scored from the 1 for the deciding score with 13 seconds to play. Basha got one more chance, completing one of three passes with the last one picked off deep in Hamilton territory.
"Our seniors made the big plays," Hamilton coach Steve Belles said. "The play Luke made was everything. He got us the ball back. AJ. had missed some throws earlier, but the last one was a great throw and catch."
Parrish, who broke up a couple potential completions in the third and fourth quarters that could have resulted in Basha first downs, said he saw his interception coming.
"I broke on it and cut the route," Parrish said. "We had a big talk at halftime and changed things up some. We needed to play better the second half."
Prior to Basha taking its final lead of 24-21, another Hamilton senior -- Cole Luke -- fielded a punt at midfield and took it the distance to put Hamilton in front, 21-17. Basha's defense, which played well, limited Hamilton to one first down in the third period and managed to maintain its 17-14 lead at intermission. The teams combined for three touchdowns in the final 2:45 of the first half. The margin of victory was the largest deficit either team saw the entire night.
Hamilton (7-2) has made a steady rise in the D-I seedings since opening the season with two losses. The Huskies entered Friday night at No. 3; Basha (6-3) was No.10. Both schools finish the regular season Oct. 26 against opponents on paper they should defeat. Hamilton visits Corona del Sol and Basha takes on Maryvale.