Hamilton falls to 0-2 as offense struggles in Ireland - East Valley Tribune: VarsityXtra

Hamilton falls to 0-2 as offense struggles in Ireland

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Posted: Saturday, September 1, 2012 1:26 am | Updated: 1:35 am, Sat Sep 1, 2012.

DUBLIN, Ireland - Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks, Calif.) capitalized on four Hamilton turnovers as its offense took advantage of field position earned by a dominating defense in a 27-15 win over Hamilton.

It's the first time in school history the Huskies have lost three consecutive games, dating back to the 2011 state championship game. It's also the first time the Huskies have started a season 0-2.

Hamilton struck first when quarterback A.J. Thigpen found the end zone from three yards out on the Huskies’ opening drive. But the 7-0 lead was wiped away after a sustained Notre Dame drive led to Kelly Hilinski threading a 20-yard pass to Kyle Barrett for the equalizing touchdown with 27 seconds remaining in the quarter.

Notre Dame’s Max Leon came up with an interception of Thigpen, and  it eventually paved the way for a 36-yard field goal by Lucas Alfonso after a touchdown was negated by a penalty.

The Notre Dame defense forced a fumble on the next Hamilton drive, and after Hilinski was sacked, Notre Dame's Daniel Khan split the uprights from 45 yards out for a field goal.

The lead grew to 13 points by halftime as a third turnover. Chris Colarossi punched his way through the middle for a 20-7 advantage at intermission.

Sam Sasso started at QB in the second half for Hamilton and began to move the ball steadily, but Nick Holland came up with an interception and won the foot race with Sasso for a 60-yard return for a touchdown to make it 27-7 and effectively end the game.

Hamilton did dent the deficit as Thigpen hit Israel Simpson from four yards out at the end of the third quarter, and Kevin Walters’ two-point conversion run was successful.

Hamilton will host Notre Dame (Scottsdale) next Friday night after both schools return from Ireland early next week.

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