Italy gets past Hamilton in bi-district round
The Italy football team continued its win streak with a 44-13 win over Hamilton.
The Italy Gladiators went into their bi-district game as district champions, undefeated in district, and 8-2 on the season. The Hamilton Bulldogs went into the playoff game 3-3 in district and 6-4 on the season. The Gladiator’s defense proved its toughness throughout the game by allowing only one offensive touchdown.
Italy won the coin toss and elected to defer the ball to the second half. Immediately the Hamilton offence would experience Italy’s defense by going four and out. Italy would respond quickly with a passing touchdown only a few drives into the series. The pass was thrown by senior quarterback Jayden Saxon. With 5:42 left in the quarter, the Gladiators would complete a 70-yard pass to senior Jaiden Barr to score another touchdown early in the game. The score would stay 14-0 to end the first quarter.
The Hamilton Bulldog defense would open the second quarter strong with a fumble recovery that would lead to an immediate seven extra points. However, the Gladiators would respond with another touchdown in the form of a quarterback sneak. The remaining 6:44 would be scoreless until Senior Jesus Luna would kick a field goal as the buzzer sounded. This allowed the Gladiators to return to the locker room with a comfortable score of 24-7.
With both teams struggling to pick up first down, the score board wouldn't be updated until the Gladiators would run a quarterback keeper and bring the score 31-7 with 6:47 remaining in the third quarter. The only other touchdown in the third quarter would come in the form of a short rushing play by Italy Senior Jay-lon Hernandez with 0:32 left in the quarter. This would bring the score to 38-7.
The Bulldogs would be the first team to score in the first quarter. Hamilton would score a touchdown but miss the extra point, bringing the score to 38-13 with 9:07 left in the game. Hamilton would recover another Gladiator fumble with 7:30 left in the game but fail to score off of the extra possession. During the fourth quarter, Jaiden Barr would see the endzone one more time by scoring another rushing touchdown with 5:15 left. The missed extra point would keep the final score 44-13.
The Gladiators would finish the game out strong with three backfield tackles in a row, forcing the Bulldogs to punt on 4th and 25. The Italy Gladiators look to continue their six game winning streak against the Alvord Bulldogs in the area playoff game.
Alvord will go into the game 8-3 on the season after coming off a 34-30 win against Wolfe City.