Hamilton quarterback Marcus McIllwain is brought down by Holland Christian’s Ben Slenk. (Photo by Nancy Deters)

Hamilton football stumbles against rival Holland Christian

By: 
Leo Martonosi

The better team doesn’t always win.
In the eyes of Hamilton football coach Chris Myers, that was the case in his team’s damp, chilly OK Green Conference game against Holland Christian on Friday, Sept. 28.
“I thought we were the better team and would win tonight,” Myers said after his team suffered a stunning 37-12 setback to the host Maroons, who upped their overall record to 4-2.
Ten penalties for 113 yards were costly to the Hawkeyes, who fell to 1-3 in the tough OK Green Conference and to 2-4 for the season overall.
One penalty whistled by the officials, which saw a Hamilton player get ejected late in the first quarter for targeting led to the game’s first score and 7-0 lead by Holland Christian, bothered Myers the most.
“I’ve been coaching for 30 years and have never seen anything like that,” Myers said. “That call took a lot out of what we wanted to do.”
Myers would love another crack at one of Hamilton’s biggest rivals.
“They made some plays, but I would love to play them with all of our players at a different venue,” Myers said.
So would Hamilton’s sophomore running back Tyler Stezowski, who rushed for a game-high 110 yards on 16 carries.
“We really thought we would win this game,” Stezowski said. “We felt we were the better team.”
Hamilton quarterback Marcus McIllwain not only legged the pigskin for 86 yards on 17 trips, but also completed 5-of-15 passes for 60 yards.
McIllwain followed his center and two guards up the middle to tally the Hawkeyes’ first touchdown, a one-yard, third-quarter plunge with 5:03 showing on the Holland Christian scoreboard.
There was not a second to be played when Hamilton scored its second and final TD on a 2-yard pass from Myers’ son Luke Myers to Bradley Osborne.
Despite the outcome, Chris Myers was proud of the effort he received from several of his players, including Brody DeWitt.
“(DeWitt) played great and the rest of the guys worked their tails off,” Myers said.
Myers couldn’t help but to notice that before the game’s opening kickoff that Hamilton had many more fans on their side of the stands than did the host Maroons.
“What can I say about our fans that I haven’t said many times before,” Myers said. “They’re simply among the best.”

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