Brittany Bowyer: Salpointe Catholic struggles, comes up short against Hamilton in the Open Division semifinals

(Brittany Bowyer Photo)

AllSportsTucson Phoenix Correspondent Brittany Bowyer

Brittany Bowyer is a freelance journalist who started her career as an intern for a small sports website back in 2015. Since then, she’s obtained her master’s degree in Sports Journalism from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at ASU and is in her fourth year of covering various levels of sports across a broad range of platforms in Arizona. You can follow her on twitter @bbowyer07

It was an unfortunate way to end the season on Saturday for the Salpointe Catholic Lancers as they fell to the Hamilton Huskies 58-14 on the road in the Open Division semifinals. The Lancers put up a fight in the first half of the game, but adjustments made by the Huskies at the half proved to just be too overpowering. 

“We got beat by a better football team tonight. We didn’t play very well, and when you don’t play very well against a team that’s really good, you get exposed and we got our butts kicked tonight. That’s all there is to it,” Coach Eric Rogers said. 

Hamilton quickly jumped out to a 14-0 lead over Salpointe Catholic with less than three minutes off the clock. Senior running back Rodney Clemente took it 50-yards on the first snap of the game, and sophomore Cole Martin returned Salpointe Catholic’s punt for a touchdown. 

Things continued to go downhill for the Lancers when they went to punt, as referees ruled the punter had stepped over the goal line in the back of the end zone, resulting in a safety for Hamilton. 

Another touchdown run by Clemente, this one from 35-yards out, and a good extra point attempt put Hamilton on top 23-0 with 4:46 left in the first quarter. 

The Lancers found some fire inside and started to move the ball down the field. Their first touchdown of the game came on a four-yard touchdown run by senior running back David Cordero.  The kick was good, making it 23-7 Hamilton with just seconds remaining in the first. 

Salpointe’s defense held strong in the second quarter, not allowing Hamilton to put any additional points on the board despite an interception. Junior quarterback Treyson Bourguet got to work moving the ball down the field, and with 2:40 remaining, Bourguet was able to find junior Elijah Barclay in the end zone for a touchdown. The kick was good, making it 23-14 Hamilton going into the half.

However, Hamilton’s adjustments at the half proved to be too much for Salpointe Catholic to handle. Coming back out to start the half, Hamilton had kicked into beast mode with back-to-back touchdowns by senior running back Noah Schmidt, extending the Huskies’ lead to 37-14 with 10:09 still remaining in the third. 

On Salpointe’s following drive, Senior cornerback Zachary Lewis had a pick-six, followed up with another interception on the next drive by senior linebacker Mo Sarnowski. Hamilton capped it off with an eight-yard touchdown pass from Roch Cholowsky to junior Christian Anaya, extending the lead to 51-14 with 6:24 remaining in the third. 

Hamilton closed things out with a touchdown by Cholowsky, making it 58-14 Hamilton to close out the third quarter. 

Because of the 42+ point differential, the fourth quarter had a running clock, resulting in a quick ending to the game. 

“They’re a young team. They’re going to be a very good team moving forward, and we’re just fortunate enough to come out on top tonight,” Hamilton Coach Mike Zdebski said. 

Salpointe Catholic struggled to generate yards on the ground tonight with only 41 total rushing yards. In the air, Bourguet was 17 of 31 for 173 yards and one interception. They also had nine penalties for 88-yards, something that proved to also be costly. 

“Sometimes we just beat ourselves, and we made a lot of errors, but we’ll be back next year,” Bourguet said. 

It was a tough way to go out for the Lancers, but with a young team and a new head coach, it was still an incredibly successful season for the program. Coach Rogers knows that the program has a solid foundation of sophomores and juniors who will continue to grow as players and help improve everyone on the team. 

“I’m just so proud of my team and my coaches. You know, it’s our first year, first new year with coaching, it’s a young team and we just did out best. We played our butts off,” Bourguet said. 

It was a tough loss for the seniors, but Coach Rogers says they gave their heart and souls to the Lancers their entire careers. 

“I’m extremely proud and it starts with our seniors. We’ve got a really, really great group of seniors. They’ve got a lot of class. They’ve been unbelievable teammates, unbelievable leaders and listen, at the end of the day, they’re going to be successful in life,” Coach Rogers said. 

Despite the loss, they know that they’ll be back next year, much improved with something to prove. 

“To be really blunt and honest with you, I expect to be right back here again next year competing for a chance to go to the state championship,” Coach Rodgers said. 

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