Hamilton-Wenham football coach Andrew Morency stressed to his team all week to not get caught in a trap game – a contest that you are expected to win but end up losing because you look past the game to a future one.
Despite Saturday’s contest against Georgetown having many storylines - the final home game for the seniors on the team, a win vaulting the Generals into the postseason, and keeping the perfect season in tact - Morency made sure his squad was aware of the game at hand.
All Hamilton-Wenham did was score on its first two offensive plays for a 13-0 lead before the game was even six minutes old. The fast start catapulted the team to a 40-14 romp of the Royals.
Now with a 9-0 record (5-0 in the Northeastern Conference/Cape Ann League Tier 4) and only a Thanksgiving Day match against Ipswich remaining, the Generals earned a berth into the Division 3A playoffs against Newburyport. The teams with Hamilton-Wenham prevailing, 18-6.
“We knew this could have been a trap game,” said Morency. “My hat is off to the seniors. They focused all week and came to play.
“The entire team knew the task at hand. This is great for the program and the community.”
Superstar quarterback Trevor Lyons, who finished with 163 yards and 4 TDs on only five first-half carries, cracked the record book in the blowout win. He leap-frogged Mike McGowan (1991) with 22 TDs when he came in to spell second-string quarterback Steve Brao with a 26-6 first-half lead. The monumental score came on a 10-yard sweep to the right.
The junior signal-caller is also 11 yards shy of breaking the all-time rushing record of 1,235 held by Corey Jackson (1989).
After the school’s , , the team made sure it got a chance to redeem itself. All it has done is steamroll through its schedule. Now it has a chance to make it to the Division 3A Super Bowl.
“We knew we had to score first. That is important in any game,” said senior offensive lineman Ryan Foringer. “It feels good (to be league champions) but it’s a little sad that this is our last home game as seniors. But we still have two more games, hopefully three.”
Cody Cohan, another senior who plays wide receiver and defensive back, said the key to the season has been to not look beyond its next game.
“We just take one game at a time and do what we have to do to win,” he said.
While the offense has been the talk of the team most weeks – record-breaking Lyons and bruising running back Elliot Burr, who regularly cracks the 100-yard mark and often finds the end zone - the defense takes a backseat to no one.
Saturday's game was a prime example as it stopped Georgetown (1-9, 0-5) on fourth-and-1 at the Hamilton-Wenham 40 on its first possession, had an interception (Kevin Anthony) on an attempted 2-point conversion, and interception (Matt Putur) close to the goal line at the end of the first half.
In the second half the backups recorded a third-quarter, pick-6 (Brao), and a strip (Pete Duval) and recovery (Liam Donovan), and a fumble recovery by Tristan Smith.
“We take a lot of pride in our defense. We think we are one of the better (defenses) in the state,” said Anthony of the Generals defense that came in allowing only 7.3 points per game. “You see a lot in newspapers about Trevor and Elliot but we have a lot of pride on the defense.
“Even when the JVs were in they were making plays – like (Steve) Brao’s pick-6. They were all making plays.”
Following a Dakota Stevens 30-yard kickoff return to open the game, Burr (7 carries, 91 yards) busted up the middle for 44 yards and a score only 19 seconds into the game. Lyons sprinted 60 yards – following a huge block by Burr – for two TDs on two plays.
“We came out right away and scored on our first two offensive plays,” Morency said.
Lyons scored three more times before halftime – from 56, 39 and 10 yards – as the Generals raced to a 33-6 bulge.