Earlier loss to Hamilton may be key to Mesa upset

Hamilton High School is heavily favored to win tonight’s 5A-I
championship football game, by as many as three touchdowns according to
some, and one of the obvious reasons has to do with the fact that the
Huskies have already beaten Mesa HS, 43-22, in early November.

However, that may actually be one of the reasons the Jackrabbits have a
shot at upsetting Hamilton’s plans for a second consecutive state title.

Mesa was beaten earlier in the season by region powerhouse, Brophy Prep
– and then came back to turn the tables on the Broncos in the state
quarterfinals, holding the Broncos to just 3 points. The question is,
can the Jackrabbits build a game plan, based on what they learned in
the first loss, to contain Hamilton’s two 1,000-yard running backs, Zach Bauman and Michael Allen?

But Hamilton will make its own adjustments, something the Huskies have
had to do already this season.  They beat Chandler HS earlier in the
season, 24-20, and then came back in the semi-finals to make it 2-for-2
with a 49-21 win over the Wolves, to earn the title shot again.

Tonight’s game will be like a chess match, as each team tries to make
the right moves.  Hamilton brings in the offensive firepower that has
piled up 615 points this season, while Mesa tries to counter with a
stiff defense that has held opponents to a touchdown or less in seven
Hamilton will likely get to check mate first, but Mesa is
a team playing against the odds, with nothing to lose and everything to
gain.  And those are always the most dangerous kinds of opponents.