Cordova falls to No. 2 Hamilton
by Buddy Sparkman
Oct 15, 2011 | 1051 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
CORDOVA — The Class 3A, second-ranked and undefeated Hamilton Aggies took on the Cordova Blue Devils Friday night at Hudson Kirby Field. The Aggies (8-0, 6-0) rode the legs and arm of all state quarterback Mitch Stults to a 39-20 victory in a tough regional battle.

Cordova (5-3, 4-2) looked good early, taking the opening kickoff and marching 62 yards in 7 plays to pay dirt as Nathan Humphries scored from a yard out. The 2-point conversion failed, and Cordova led 6-0. Hamilton answered quickly on its first drive, putting together an 8-play, 48-yard drive as Ryan King capped things off with a 3-yard run at the 4:02 mark. Alex Vargas converted for a 7-6 Aggie lead.

Cordova had limited success the next three possessions as the quarterback-center exchange wreaked havoc all night for the Blue Devils. Cordova was left with three successive three and outs as a result. Hamilton’s next score cane on King’s second score of the night, this time on a 2-yard run. The Aggies were good on the two point conversion and led 15-6 early in the second period.

On Cordova’s next possession, the Blue Devils took over at their 25-yard line and drove the ball down field behind the strong running of Humphries, who finished the game with 130 yards rushing, but again miscues on the snap caused the Blue Devils to turn the ball over on downs.

Hamilton then drove the ball 75 yards in 5 plays, 57 of which came on a pass-and-catch from Stults to David Stidham. Stidham had 83 receiving yards on the night. Hamilton capped the drive on a Stults 7-yard run. Stults finished the night with 96 yards rushing and 106 yards passing. Vargas was good on the PAT, giving the Aggies a commanding 22-6 lead.

Cordova however answered quickly on the ensuing drive as Jamaal Cooper ripped off a 60-yard run up the middle setting up Humphries, who scored on a 14-yard run. Humphries also scored the 2-point conversion on a pass from Cooper to draw Cordova closer at 22-14.

Cooper also added 75 yards rushing for the Devils.

Hamilton however was not through, as Stults scored on the next play from 58 yards away on a quarterback scramble. Vargas again was good and Hamilton led at the half 29-14. Hamilton got the ball to begin the second half and drove the ball to the Cordova 25 where Vargas missed a 42-yard field goal. On Cordova’s first try in the second half, another fumbled snap turned the ball over and set the Aggies up at the Blue Devils 19-yard line.

It took the Aggies 3 plays to score as King, who finished the night with 80 yards rushing, scored his third touchdown, this one from the 3-yard line. Vargas converted for a 36-14 lead.

On Cordova’s second possession of the half, the Blue Devils took over at the 34-yard line and put together a great looking six-play, 64-yard drive as Humphries rumbled 35 yards for his third score. The PAT failed, leaving Cordova trailing 36-20.

Cordova had some good opportunities in the fourth quarter as the defense led by Andrew Minor held the Aggie offense in check most of the second half, leading to a three and out and an interception on successive possessions.

The Blue Devils took over at the Aggie 22-yard line on one possession, but gave the ball over on downs.

On the following drive, Cordova’s coaches decided to go for it on 4th-and-4 at their own 26 but and the Aggie defense rose up, stopping Humphries and ending Cordova’s chances.

Hamilton added a late Vargas 37-yard field goal for the final margin of 39-20.

Cordova is on the road next week at Winston County to wrap up region play. Hamilton will be at home to host Hanceville to determine the region championship.