HAMILTON - The Hamilton Aggies put together a solid game plan in their final outing of the 2018 campaign and it produced a big and memorable 31-8 victory, for it came on senior night over their long-time rival, the Haleyville Lions.
Head coach Rodney Stidham noted he, his coaches and the team had multiple discussions about the game in the days leading up to it. He called it “an outstanding win for us, the community, and our school.” Stidham also expressed his pride in how well his Aggies played in the final game of the season.
Both teams fought hard offensively and defensively throughout the first quarter. Hamilton scored the first touchdown of the game toward the end of the first quarter.
Hamilton quarterback Jay Brown started the drive with a handoff to Jathan Jackson at the 50 for a gain of two yards to the 48. Brown then threw a completion to Alex Reid for a gain of 12 yards. An offensive penalty pushed the ball back to the 37. Jackson ran for 13 yards on the next play, but an offensive penalty moved the ball to the 30. Gabe Anglin picked up the tempo with two runs for a total gain of 47 yards, moving the ball to the 23.
Jackson followed with a seven-yard pickup to the 16 to set up Brown’s 16-yard scamper into the end zone for a touchdown with 1:57 to go in the first quarter. Marco Martinez toed the extra-point, bringing the score to 7-0 Hamilton.
The Lions failed to muster any offense on their next drive, but Hamilton strengthened its lead with another touchdown toward the end of the second quarter.
Taking over on the 37, Hamilton’s Jackson gained 17 yards on the next play, but penalties on both the Aggies--holding--and the Lions--personal foul--on the play left the ball at the 47, for a 16-yard gain. Anglin then picked up three yards, but Hamilton was flagged for a false start on the next play, backing the ball up to the 49, second-and-12.
Brown’s completion to Reid on the next play was nullified due to an offensive pass interference, pushing the ball back to the 41, leaving Hamilton looking at a second-and-22.
Brown called his own number on the ensuing play, picking up 11 yards, and followed with a completion to Jackson which covered 21 yards to the 27-yard-line.
Anglin ran for 17 yards over the next two plays, advancing to the 10. Jackson gained six more yards to the 4, but then fumbled the ball at the 1-yard-line on the next play, but lineman Kaiden Cooper was there for the Aggies and made the recovery in the end zone for another Hamilton touchdown with 4:15 to go in the second quarter. Martinez’s extra-point was good, pushing the Aggies’ lead to 14-0.
During the Lions’ next drive, Charles McAlpine was intercepted by Hamilton’s Robert Johnson. Johnson was tackled at the 49-yard-line with only 17 seconds remaining in the half.
Brown dropped back and threw a pass completion to Sam Harris for a gain of 41 yards to the 10, bringing up a first-and-goal. Stidham decides to try for a field goal from the 10 and Martinez’s 27-yard field goal was good as time expired in the first half, putting Hamilton’s lead to 17-0 at the half.
With Hamilton receiving to open the second half, Anglin gathered in the kick and brought the ball back 26 yards to the 45. Brown immediately took to the air and found Reid for a 15-yard gain, moving the ball to the 40. Jackson collected another first down with a 12-yard run and Brown connected with Hogan Ganny for a gain of seven yards to the 21.
Brown fumbled the ball on the next play, but it was recovered by lineman Christian Loving for the Aggies at the 19-yard-line, which resulted in a two-yard gain for the Aggies.
Jackson gained two more yards to the 17. Another fumble on the next play was recovered by Aggie lineman Matthew Jones at the 9. Anglin zipped into the end zone from nine yards out on the next play with 8:40 to go in the third quarter. The extra-point by Martinez was good, pushing Hamilton’s lead to 24-0.
Both teams traded possessions with the Lions taking over with 2:10 to go in the third quarter.
Following back-to-back incomplete passes to start the drive, McAlpine connected with Austin Barry for a gain of 11 yards and a first down to the 41. McAlpine followed an incomplete pass with a 10-yard completion to Camden Smith, putting the ball at the 31. The Lions quarterback then ran for 15 yards to the 16-yard-line. A holding penalty on the offense backed the Lions up to the 33, setting up a firs-t-and-27.
The Aggies forced an incompletion before a roughing the passer call against Hamilton moved the ball up to the 11, first-and-10. McAlpine carried the ball into the end zone on the next play with 11:13 to go in the game. A pass from McAlpine to lineman Rusty Frost resulted in a two-point conversion, making the score 24-8.
Hamilton retaliated on its next possession. Johnson returned the kick nine yards, putting Hamilton on offense at the 34-yard-line. Jackson carried the ball for three yards and a Brown-to-Reid pass gained three yards.
Anglin and Brown combined to gain five yards over the next two plays for a first down to the 47. Jackson gained nine yards and Anglin 10 yards to advance the pigskin to the 34-yard-line.
Anglin found a seam and scooted the remaining 34 yards for the final touchdown of the game with 7:00 to go in the fourth quarter. Martinez’s extra-point was good, and the Aggies’ final point of the 2018 season was on the scoreboard as Hamilton won 31-8.
Hamilton’s offense finished the contest with 381 total yards with 275 rushing yards and 106 through the air.
Brown completed 8-of-14 pass attempts for 106 yards. The senior added 39 rushing yards and one score on seven attempts.
Anglin finished with a game-high 130 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries.
Jackson added 19 touches for 100 yards. He also pulled in a 21-yard reception.
Kaleb Harris had a five-yard run while Johnson had two carries for a yard.
Hamilton’s receiving corp saw Harris lead the way with 41 yards on just one catch.
Reid pulled in a game-high five receptions for 35 yards. Chaston McCarley added two catches for two yards. Gann pulled in a seven-yard reception.
Offensively, Haleyville finished with just 98 total yards with 79 coming through the air and 19 on the ground.
McAlpine completed 12-of-27 pass attempts for 79 yards. He added 10 rushing attempts for 12 yards and a touchdown.
Ty Black added four attempts for five yards while Nicholas Whitman had a three-yard carry.
The Lions’ Barry pulled in three passes for 35 yards. Robert Lambert added three catches for 18 yards. Jackson Kennedy had an 11-yard reception while Smith added a 10-yard catch.
Austin Gravitt-Tucker added a six-yard reception while Kristian Gravitt-Tucker had a five-yard catch.
Hamilton finished the season with a 4-6 overall record and 2-5 in Class 5A, Region 7 play.
Haleyville ended the year with a 3-7 overall record and a 2-4 record in Class 4A, Region 5.
By WHITNEY ROBISON
See complete story in the Journal Record.