Week 6 roundup: Hamilton bounces back with OT victory against Fairfield

Big Blue now 4-2 in GMC

HAMILTON — Hamilton High School football coach Arvie Crouch isn’t liking how things are going right now.

“I’m loving it,” he said.

The Big Blue went score for score against Greater Miami Conference rival Fairfield, and Connor Stephens knocked in the eventual go-ahead field goal. Then Hamilton held off the Indians on the final possession of overtime for a 31-28 victory Friday night at Virgil Schwarm Stadium.

“They did a good job defensively in the first quarter and in the first half,” Crouch said of Fairfield. “We didn’t do a good job of putting it into the end zone. Our defense played their butts off the whole game. We just didn’t get it done in the first half.

“That ain’t no chump team. They’re a good team — well-coached. What happens is if you let them hang around, they’re going to be in it at the end. We were lucky to get out of there with a win. I don’t care how.”

Hamilton (4-2, 4-1 GMC) shook off last week’s heartbreaking 22-16 loss to state-ranked Princeton, which scored on a last-second touchdown pass.

“I’m proud of my kids for being resilient,” Crouch said. “Our kids made some plays when they needed to.”

Crouch continued to praise his team’s defense, which had three players collect 10 tackles apiece: juniors Trey Verdon, Carter Isaacs and Gracen Goldsmith.

“Trey Verdon is probably the best D-lineman in the state of Ohio,” Crouch said. “He’s unreal. He makes plays. I’m proud of all of our guys for making plays.”

Hamilton snapped a two-game losing streak to Fairfield (1-5, 1-4) despite being outgained in yards (366-268) and losing the turnover battle (3-2).

Cournell Bennett-McCoy led Hamilton in rushing with 123 yards and a score on 27 carries. Big Blue junior receiver RJ Shephard-Ruffin had five catches for 64 yards and a touchdown.

Fairfield’s Talon Fisher threw for 180 yards and a score and rushed for 65 yards and two touchdowns on the ground, including a 1-yard plunge that tied the game at 28-28 with 17 seconds left in regulation.

OTHER GAMES

Badin 28, Fenwick 3: Carson Cheek returned the opening kick 95 yards for a score, center Luke Franchini won Homecoming King at halftime as Badin moved its regular-season win streak to 34 games with a victory over Greater Catholic League Coed rival Fenwick at Edgewood’s Kumler Field.

“It was huge,” Rams coach Nick Yordy said. “(Cheek) even bobbled the ball a little bit. But the biggest thing is these kids knew this was going to be a battle. To get off to a start like that to settle everybody down, it was a huge thing for the coaches, players, everybody.”

Lem Grayson rushed for 106 yards and two touchdowns for the Rams, who moved to 6-0 overall and 1-0 in the GCL Coed. Zach Yordy added a 1-yard touchdown run in the fourth.

Derek Morris booted a 26-yard field goal in the second quarter to cut Fenwick’s deficit to 14-3.

“Obviously, you’re playing a sound defense,” said Falcons coach Mark Mueller, whose squad fell to 4-2, 0-1. “You’re playing a team that hasn’t given up much points. I thought our kids executed the game plan very well. We just didn’t finish on certain drives.”

Lakota East 21, Colerain 6: Ryder Hooks rushed for 181 yards and two touchdowns to lead Lakota East to its first victory of the season over visiting Colerain.

Hooks scored on a 1-yard plunge with 2:38 left in the first quarter to give the Thunderhawks (1-5, 1-4 Greater Miami Conference) a 7-0 lead. Jamison Kitna found the end zone on a 1-yard rush of his own to make it 14-0 in the second quarter.

Shawn Billups connected with Terrell Burton on an 8-yard TD pass to cut Colerain’s deficit to 14-6 with 9:41 remaining in the third quarter.

Hooks scored his second touchdown of the night on a 36-yard scamper to close out the scoring.

The Thunderhawks snapped an eight-game losing streak, while the Cardinals (0-6, 0-5) have lost eight in a row.

Freelance sportswriter Keegan Nickoson contributed to this story.

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