Big 2nd quarter sparks Hampshire
There is a big difference being 3-2 rather than 2-3, and the meaning of that one-game swing was not lost on Hampshire coach Jake Brosman.
Sparked by a dazzling show from junior quarterback Tyler Fikis and a defense that imposed its will in the second half, Hampshire posted a second-half shutout and used a 20-point second quarter en route to a rain-soaked 28-14 Fox Valley Conference victory over McHenry on the Whips´ Homecoming.
"Being 3-2 means we have built some momentum for the second part of the season," Brosman said. "That winning momentum going into weeks six through nine gives our team a huge lift."
Hampshire (3-2, 3-2) limited McHenry to 73 total yards in the second half (42 rushing, 31 passing) while its offense rang up all 146 yards on the ground led by the speedy, slithering Fikis.
"Every play we call has an option element to it that gives us -- gives me -- flexibility," Fikis said. "(McHenry's) defense was crashing down on our backs and it allowed me to find some openings. Coach showed a lot of confidence in me and I was glad I could do my part."
After McHenry got on the board in the first quarter on a four-yard pass from Andrew Hoffman (9 for 23, 58 yards) to Kyle Kaempf, Hampshire put up three scores in the second quarter. Fikis got the hosts on the board with scoring runs of 14 and 7 yards and then hit James Borgardt on a 9-yard scoring strike on the last play of the half. That score was set up by a Zach Vodraska interception. The senior also had a key pass breakup in the McHenry end zone on a fourth-down play.
"We watched a lot of film on them this week and tonight we made the adjustments," Vodraska said. "When we got our second pick (by Carson Murphy), I knew we had them."
Another key for the Whip-Purs was containing McHenry's two main offensive threats: Brody Hallin and Kaempf. The speedy Hallin wound up with 151 yards on 12 carries, but 133 of those yards came on three bursts of 57, 51, and 25 yards. Kaempf caught four passes for 31 yards. Dylan Drumheller scored McHenry's other touchdown and finished with 56 yards on 13 carries.
"Obviously, taking away their playmakers was one of our goals tonight," Brosman said. "They're such a big and fast and physically talented team. It was a great team effort by our kids. Everyone did their jobs. It was the old 'bend-but-don't-break' mentality."
A dejected Warrior coach Jon Niemiec pointed to the direct opposite of Hampshire's success for his team's lack of success.
"Tonight, we didn't have all 11 players playing at once. We have a saying that it takes 11 to make six (points), and at times tonight we had 10 or nine guys doing their jobs," Niemiec said. "That, and a lot of self-inflicted miscues and penalties. You can't do that end expect to win."
Hampshire finished the game with 370 total yards (237 rushing, 133 passing). Fikis accounted for 215 of those yards.