Hampshire knocks off Jacobs in season opener
Every football team knows the value of execution. Coaches preach it. Players practice in hopes of improving it. In its season opener Friday, Hampshire had just enough execution in all three phases of the game to earn a 32-14 win over Jacobs.
The host Whip-Purs' rushing attack paced the offense in the first half, and the passing game clicked in the second half. The defense created stops and turnovers throughout the night and the specials teams helped create favorable field position. In all, timely execution was the key.
"We stressed to the players about knowing their assignments and then doing what needs to be done on the field and that certainly was the case tonight," said Hampshire coach Jake Brosman.
In the first half, Hampshire (1-0, 1-0 Fox Valley Conference) relied on the ground game to get the offense going. With a balanced workload, the Whip-Purs rushed for 114 yards in the first half against the Golden Eagles (0-2, 0-2). Sophomore running back Raymond Hill made the most of his five first-half carries by scoring on runs of 1 and 15 yards, helping forge a 12-8 halftime lead. Hill finished the game with eight carries for 60 yards and two touchdowns.
The second half featured precision passing that extended drives and the lead. After going 2 of 8 passing in the opening half, quarterback Tyler Fikis was efficient and effective in the final two quarters. Fikis went 5 of 5 for 136 yards and a touchdown to provide diversity to the offense.
"We wanted to establish the run and setting up the run helped create some play-action and we took advantage of the opportunities that were there," Brosman said.
Hampshire's defense was consistent throughout the game, forcing and recovering three fumbles and stopping the Jacobs offense on three fourth-down attempts.
The Whip-Purs specials teams played a big part in the second half, as junior Jack Rummell returned two kickoffs deep into Jacobs' territory, which resulted in touchdowns each time.
"On the kickoffs it was a team effort, everyone held their blocks, everyone stayed with their assignment and I am glad I was able to help in that way," Rummell said.
In addition to the kickoff returns, Rummell caught two passes for 100 yards, including a 72 yard touchdown that sealed the win in the fourth quarter.
"We have a special group of kids, they pushed through adversity and they stayed with it. Their hard work really paid off tonight," Brosman added.
For Jacobs, junior running back Ben Ludlum led the rushing attack with 107 yards on 19 carries. Quarterback Sam Deligio went 6 for 14 passing for 54 yards with a touchdown pass to Aidan Roberts. Deligio also rushed for a touchdown.