Hampshire shuts out Dundee-Crown to snap 24-game losing streak
On a night Hampshire honored the 40th anniversary of its 1979 state championship team, the current Whip-Purs got a much needed victory of their own to celebrate.
Jackson Milison and John Brady Young ran for touchdowns in the first half, Hampshire's defense swarmed to the ball all night, and the Whip-Purs ended the game in victory formation for the first time in 25 games with a 12-0 victory over Dundee-Crown.
The win snaps the Whip-Purs' 24-game losing streak and gives second year coach Jake Brosman his first victory. He delivered an emotional postgame speech to his team who stuck with him and each other through some trying times.
"Everyone here tonight we've been through thick and thin," said Milison, a senior. "We stuck through it. It's exhilarating. Just the atmosphere. Everyone is happy."
Hampshire (1-7, 1-7 in the Fox Valley Conference) had not won since beating Dundee-Crown in its 2017 season opener. The Whip-Purs have shown signs of progress this season, playing more competitive games in defeat.
But getting that elusive win meant a lot.
"It's huge," Brosman said. "It's a weight lifted off the program. It's something we've talked about all year. Keep battling and getting closer and closer. We got what we needed and I think this is going to propel the program the way we see it going."
Hampshire got off to a quick start, holding Dundee-Crown (0-8, 0-8) to a three-and-out on the first possession and then driving 50 yards for a touchdown. The Chargers jumped offsides on a 4th-and-3 to give the Whips a first down, then moments later Milison called his own number and ran 19 yards around the left end into the end zone for a 6-0 lead.
The only other points came in the second quarter. Again Hampshire moved the ball on the ground and this time it was Young who broke a tackle on a 3-yard run for a touchdown and 12-0 lead at halftime.
Milison ran for 69 yards, Young added 39 and Evan Andresen led both teams with 76 rushing yards as Hampshire didn't complete a pass, going 0-for-4.
The Whips' defense made those 12 points stand up. Defensive back Jack Rummell stopped Dundee-Crown's deepest drive of the game by tipping a pass and then diving to intercept the ball inside Hampshire's 10-yard line.
The Chargers didn't advance inside Hampshire's 20-yard line in the second half. William Pflederer put an exclamation point on the win by sacking Evan Echlin on Dundee-Crown's final drive at the Whips' 40-yard line with two minutes remaining.
"Our defense really stepped up," Brosman said. "They did an amazing job. We played good assignment football. We had 11 guys on the field doing their job every down."
Hampshire held Dundee-Crown to 8 first downs and 154 yards of offense. Echlin completed 11 of 22 passes for 80 yards, four of the receptions going to Justin Prusko who also had a sack and fumble recovery on defense.
"That's been the theme all year," Chargers coach Mike Steinhaus said. "We've just got a lot of young guys. We play different offensive line every game. When you have different skill position players in every game you are not going to get the consistency you need to have. That's just the reality of where we're at. The defense played a good game. Just a couple big plays in the first half which hurt and unfortunately we couldn't make plays on offense when we did get close."
After Brosman and his assistant coaches finished talking to the team, Milison walked over and presented his head coach with the game ball.
Smiling from ear to ear, Brosman took the ball -- though he wanted to share it with all the players who stuck through the streak and all the adversity.
"It's a great feeling," Brosman said. "I came in and knew I had a hard job to do and kept battling. It's just affirmation that all the hard work is paying off.
"I'm so proud of them for sticking it out and working hard. For what they've gone through we have not shown that in practice. We've fought like a team that is battling every week. It showed and they earned themselves a nice victory tonight."