by Scott Sacry
Corvallis hosted defending Class A state champion Hamilton on Thursday, August 25th to start the high school football season in the Bitterroot Valley. Fans from both communities filled the stands and surrounded the field on a beautiful late summer night and were treated to a spirited game. After a close first half, Hamilton pulled away in the second for a 35-0 victory.
Hamilton’s defense was the story of the game. They only allowed Corvallis three first downs and 45 total yards on offense. Corvallis quarterback Aydan Mayn was under constant pressure and was only able to pass for 36 yards. Corvallis’s running backs Wyatt Miles and Logan Avery only gained 33 yards between them. It was a dominating performance by Hamilton’s defense.
Hamilton’s new starting quarterback Tyson Bauder showed signs of both greatness and inexperience. He connected with Eli Taylor for two touchdowns, one for 61 yards and another for 28 yards, and he also scampered for a 28-yard touchdown run. But he also threw three interceptions in the first half. Corvallis’s defense played a solid first half with Dillon Potter, Ross Lewis, and Justus Brickley all intercepting passes.
Hamilton wideout Eli Taylor and running back Andrew Frederick had standout games. Taylor caught 6 passes for 106 yards and scored 2 touchdowns – he also had an interception. Frederick rushed for 130 yards and scored two touchdowns.
A sloppy first half ended with a flurry of activity. With 56 seconds left in the half, Corvallis’s Justus Brickley intercepted a Bauder pass, giving Corvallis the ball, trailing only 0-7. But on the next play Hamilton’s Hunter Stewart returned the favor and intercepted a Mayn pass, giving Hamilton the ball with 45 seconds left. Then with 13 seconds to go, Bauder scrambled down the right side for a touchdown, giving Hamilton a 14-0 lead and all the momentum going into half-time.
In the second half, Hamilton made adjustments and seemed to relax on offense, scoring 21 points and putting the game out of reach. The pivotal moment of the game came with 5:04 left in the 3rd quarter. Hamilton had a 14-0 lead and the game still seemed up for grabs. Then Frederick broke a 35-yard touchdown up the middle to make it 21-0. With that play Hamilton seemed to swell with confidence and Corvallis seemed to deflate. From then on it was all Hamilton as they scored twice more for the 35-0 victory..
Hamilton hosts Dillon on Friday, September 2nd at 7 p.m. Corvallis has an off week, then travels to Dillon on September 9th.