Blake Kemp will be sore after this football game.
Facing a blitzing, aggressive defense, the Hamilton quarterback was hit early and often Friday by Mesquite. But Kemp made the Wildcats pay often enough, either with a big passing play or escaping the rush as he led the No. 1-ranked Huskies to a 30-7 homecoming victory.
Kemp threw for 313 yards, the second most in school history, and also rushed seven times for 37 yards as he was forced to make quick decisions by Mesquite. On Friday Kemp was a good decision-maker against the Wildcats.
“Their front seven is really good,” Kemp said. “They brought a lot of people up to stop the run.”
The Huskies broke open a close game with touchdowns on their first two possessions of the second half and simply wore out the Wildcats (2-3) who were bidding for the upset.
Hamilton got a 12-yard run from Clayton Stanchik and a 1-yard run from Marcus Jones in the third quarter to make the Husky faithful feel a little more comfortable. Stanchik’s scoring run came four plays after Hamilton’s Corey Buhnerkempe recovered an onside kick.
The Huskies’ offense was explosive on this night with over 500 yards of offense. They used screen passes to combat the blitzes thrown at them by the Wildcats.
“Our screens were a lot better than they were last week,” Kemp said. “The coaches coached us up. We just have to get better.”
Three big turnovers cost Hamilton multiple scoring opportunities.
“We were average at best,” Hamilton coach Steve Belles said. “We had too many mistakes in the first half. We played really good football in the second half.”
Early on it appeared Hamilton (5-0) may be suffering from a letdown after its big win over Desert Ridge last week. Belles called that a “convenient excuse” for the Huskies.
They did take the opening kickoff, moved down the field and scored easily when Kemp hit Kendyl Taylor with a 7-yard touchdown reception.
The lead lasted exactly 12 seconds. Mesquite’s Anthony Lopez took a handoff on the Wildcats first play and went 80 yards for a touchdown. Lopez finished with 149 yards on 14 carries.
A 27-yard field goal by Daniel Wichman and a 9-yard run by Frankie Felix late in the first half helped Hamilton to a 16-7 halftime lead.
Hamilton’s defense used the bend-but-don’t-break approach on Friday as Mesquite got inside the Husky 15-yard line three times. But only once did the Wildcats come away with any points. It didn’t help that Mesquite quarterback Steven Bevan was intercepted three times and fumbled once. Safety Reggie Daniels forced the fumble with a big hit when he came on a blitz. He also had one of the interceptions.