High School Football: Hamburg rallies together to finish off Lake Shore
Kramer runs for over 100 yards, in on three TDs
It may not have been the complete-game performance it’s been looking for this season, but Hamburg at least got the second half part right in winning for the first time in 2012.
Hamburg dominated the final two quarters of a game for the first time in three tries this season and was rewarded with a 28-7 win over crosstown rival Lake Shore on Friday (Sept. 14). The Bulldogs scored 16 points in the third quarter then cruised from there.
“This is the first game we finished,” said McFadden, whose team fell to South Park in Week One after leading 6-0 at halftime, then lost to Willamsville South after being tied at 14 apiece after two quarters. “We talked about if that second-half team showed up in the first two weeks, we would have won our first two games...When we decide to play football, we’re a darn good team.”
McFadden said this time his team got caught “sleep-walking” in the first half. After a solid drive to start the game ended with a Mark Myles three-yard touchdown from the sophomore to put Hamburg up 6-0, Lake Shore enjoyed the better of the play for much of the first half.
The Eagles, who fell to 0-3, took their first lead of the season when Evan Fuller completed a 10-play drive with a four-yard touchdown run and Parker Addison knocked down the extra point with 7:24 left in the second quarter. Hamburg then fumbled the ball on the first play of its ensuing drive.
Hamburg got the ball right back after a three-and-out from Lake Shore and began a drive that would start to turn the game and fuel the team for the second half. Hard-running senior quarterback Lucas Kramer capped an eight-play drive with a 27-yard touchdown run, turning a broken play into a score, with just 27 seconds left before halftime.
“That created a lot of momentum, and with that momentum, we carried it into the second half,” Kramer said. “We started out slow in the first half, but everyone came out playing really hard in the second half. Our line really picked it up. We all stepped up in the second half.”
After Lake Shore fumbled on the fourth play of its opening drive in the second half, Kramer wasted no time in hitting Kyle Violanti on a throw down the sideline to his front shoulder which went for a 32-yard touchdown. On Hamburg’s next possession, it put together a long drive with Kramer finishing off the 10-play march with a seven-yard touchdown run with 2:18 left in the third. Josh Bennett was successful for a second straight time on a two-point run. Kramer finished with 107 yards rushing on 10 carries.
“We’ve got a great leader in Luke,” McFadden said. “I think he’s getting better every week. He’s starting to make plays that he didn’t make earlier. He has the ability to make a big play at any point in the game. I think he’s starting to believe in himself.”
Kramer said the team had a good talk at halftime, encouraging one another to step up to get that first win. He hopes the team can keep it rolling from here.
“In the second half, we didn’t change anything,” McFadden said. “What we changed is what we do and how we do it. There’s a good bunch of kids here but they have to mature.”
Led by Wes Riley and Jeremiah Bill, the offensive line was able to get a good push on a smaller Lake Shore defensive front. Defensively, Hamburg held Lake Shore to three first downs and forced two turnovers in the second half.
The Eagles started a sophomore in Addison at quarterback in place of injured senior Nick Evans. Nick Winters was Lake Shore’s most consistent play-maker on offense, rushing for 38 yards on four carries and catching a 14-yard pass. Fuller ran for 33 yards and caught a 17-yard pass.
“We let ourselves go for a play at the end of the first half and let them get in there for a score. Then we came out in the second half and that’s when things fell apart,” Lake Shore head coach Chuck Kowalski said. “We were missing assignments, and turnovers are a killer. We haven’t put together a complete game yet but once we do that, I think we’ll be even more competitive, just like we were in the first half.”
Hamburg continued to use a number of different packages with various backs. The youngster Myles got his touches — carrying the ball 10 times, along with seniors Brett Schuman and Bennett and junior Vinny Sardo.
Violanti picked up an interception for Hamburg, while recovering fumbles were Robbie Miller and Devyn Helak. Picking up sacks in the game were Hamburg’s Bennett and Lake Shore’s Ken Labarge and Nick Miranda.
Note — Hamburg’s junior varsity team is off to a 3-0 after beating Lake Shore, 28-14. The Bulldogs came off a win last week over Williamsville South.