Most Viewed Stories
Braves bag Bears with big second half
The game between Hamilton High and Pierce stood scoreless at halftime, and therein lay the problem for the Bears.
After knocking on the door twice in the first half Pierce came away empty, and the Braves scored the first 20 points of the second half in their 20-6 win Friday in Hamilton City.
"The key was those two possessions in the first half to the 20," Bears coach Scott Burnum summed up.
The first stalled drive took place after a shanked punt gave Pierce the ball at the Hamilton 23-yard line. After three run plays and a false start, the Bears turned the ball over on downs.
The Bears weren't the only ones turning the ball over, as Hamilton did its best to aid the Bears cause by coughing the ball up three times, with Adolfo Ramirez, Weston Leighty and David Castaneda each diving on loose balls.
Castaneda's recovery gave Pierce the ball on the Hamilton 43, and a 16-yard carry by Ramirez took it down to the 27, but the Bears bogged down and again turned it over on downs at the 21.
After beginning their first possession of the second half at their own 31, the Braves capped a 14-play drive when quarterback Ricky Pompa snuck the ball in from a yard out, with Riley Meridith adding the extra point.
Pierce was forced the punt the next time they had the ball, and Hamilton's Theron Fumasi juked his way 40 yards on the return to give the Braves the ball on the Pierce 49.
After a penalty moved them back 10 yards, Hamilton's Austin Burbank got it back and then some, when with the help of some downfield blocking, he carried the ball for 41 yards to the Pierce 20.
Five plays later on 4th-and-goal, Pompa again broke the plane from a yard out to make it 13-0, with six seconds remaining in the third quarter.
Pierce went three-and-out following the touchdown, and after the punt the Braves had the ball on their own 34.
It took just one play as Shippelhoute found an opening on the left side and hot-footed it 66 yards to the house.
As the Braves left the field the press box played Foreigner's "Hot Blooded," and for good reason. Just the night before, Shippelhoute had run a fever that approached 104 degrees.
"I took a couple Tylenol and got a good night's sleep," grinned Shippelhoute after the game.
"The whole line was doing its job," he said of his TD scamper, "it was a run to the left and it took all five of them."
The Bears avoided the shutout when quarterback Jake Voorhees rolled to his right and found Ramirez on a 3rd-and-10 and Ramirez out-ran the Braves secondary for a 54-yard score.
Pierce fumbled once in each half , with Hamilton's Andrew Whitsett quick to fall on both footballs, and both sides had their share of bobbled snaps.
"Not coughing the ball up (in the second half)" is what Hamilton coach Ryan Bentz said made all the difference. "The backs held onto the ball in the second half and we were fine. We kept motoring and played 48 minutes of football."
Burnum cautioned, "We had poor ball security. They've been riding the coattails of some pretty good players, now it's time for them to step up."
CONTACT Craig Purcell at 824-1036 or email@example.com. Like us on Facebook at TCN Sports; follow us on Twitter @TCNvarsity