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Hamilton advances to quarterfinals

Alex Draper pulled down a 16-yard pass from Josh Bauder for a touchdown. Jean Schurman photo

Alex Draper pulled down a 16-yard pass from Josh Bauder for a touchdown. Jean Schurman photo

 

Hamilton’s Josh Bauder directed his team to a first round playoff victory over Polson on Saturday. Jean Schurman photo

Hamilton’s Josh Bauder directed his team to a first round playoff victory over Polson on Saturday. Jean Schurman photo

The Hamilton Broncs football team will be on the road next week but at least they will still be playing. Hamilton defeated Polson, 24-21, and advances to the Class A quarterfinals where they will take on the No.1 seed from the East, Billings Central who had a bye this week. Billings Central’s only loss this season has been at the hands of Dillon.

Hamilton quarterback Josh Bauder struck early in the game with a long pass that opened up the field. He then went to the air again for a touchdown pass to Kris Cleveland from 10 yards out. The wind was not a factor at that point but later on in the game it did create problems for both teams. Hamilton scored again in the first quarter when Bauder hit Alex Draper who was wide open in the end zone. Bauder finished the day with 326 yards passing and completed 25 of 39 passes including the two early scores. He also had 14 yards on the ground.

Polson’ Cedrick Smith returned the kickoff 94 yards after Draper’s touchdown for the Pirate’s first score. That was their only score of the half. However Hamilton’s Adam Smith did score for the Broncs in the second quarter on a one-yard plunge. Smith finished the day with 121 yards on 24 carries.

The two teams battled but the wind kept the passing game from gaining momentum. Karille Apedaile booted a 33-yard field goal in the third quarter to give Hamilton a 14-point edge. But Polson came back and scored after the field goal when Andrew Weltz made a 15-yard run to the end zone. They scored again in the fourth quarter when Smith caught a Weltz pass and the Pirates were only three points behind. Polson had a couple more possessions but the Hamilton defense held on for the win.

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