Hamilton wingback Nick Patterson got off to a fast start Saturday afternoon.
The first time he touched the ball Saturday, he took it up the middle for an 80-yard run. Three plays later, Kyle Schiedemeyer scored on a 1-yard run with 8 minutes 45 seconds left in the first quarter as the Chargers held a seven-point lead.
From that point, Germantown was playing catchup. And that proved tough to do, particularly with the way Patterson was running ball.
Patterson, a 5-10, 177-pound senior, gained 253 yards in 22 carries with three touchdowns to lead the Chargers to a 37-20 victory over Germantown in the first round of the WIAA Division 1 football playoffs Saturday afternoon at .
The Chargers, who improved their record to 9-1 for the season, will face No. 1-seeded Manitowoc Lincoln in the second round of the playoffs on either Friday or Saturday. The unbeaten Ships advanced with a 42-0 victory over Milwaukee Madison.
What made Patterson's performance even more impressive was that he wasn’t feeling 100 percent.
“He was feeling a little sick, he had on some leggings and maybe he was overheating,” Hamilton coach John Damato said about his star back. “We got some ice pack on him, cooled him down a bit. He had a great game.”
Patterson was eager to share the credit with his teammates.
“Our defense played well, they kept getting us the ball and we were getting a lot of push up front,” Patterson said.
While Patterson carried most of the load for the Chargers, they got a standout performance from quarterback Matt Judson. Judson completed 11 of 14 passes for 131 yards and made a touchdown pass to Patterson late in the second quarter. Judson also scored on a quarterback sneak.
Judson also had a hand in what Damato said was the most crucial drive of the game. That came in the third quarter when the Chargers were faced with a fourth and five at Germantown’s 22. Judson completed the pass to wingback Nick Knoebel for the first down.
Germantown was called for roughing Judson on the play, giving the Chargers first and goal at the 7-yard line. Patterson scored on a 7-yard run to give Hamilton a 30-13 lead.
"We figured we would roll the diced and it worked,” Damato said about the fourth-down play. “Our offensive line did a tremendous job on that drive.”
The 92-yard drive took about 6½ minutes.
Defensively, the Chargers had some their share of ups and downs. Defensive back Jake Knueppel had two interceptions in the first half. His first pick, a leaping catch of a pass thrown by Germantown quarterback Josh Mongan, led to the team’s second touchdown, a 3-yard run by sophomore Drew Patterson.
The second interception led to an 18-yard field goal by Kenny Lo.
The Hamilton defense, however, had a few regrettable moments. The Warhawks scored their first touchdown when wide receiver Louis Tuszynski, getting the ball on a reverse, stopped and threw a pass to wide receiver Jason Townsend, who was wide open on the 47-yard touchdown play.
The Chargers, however, took the big play in stride.
“I was thinking, 'They are already resorting to trick plays, because they couldn’t get anything else on us,' ” said Schiedemeyer, who is the team’s defensive captain.
Germantown had two other big plays on offense, a 49-yard pass play from Mongan to Tuszynski and a 35-yard play from Mongan to Townsend.
Despite the big plays, Schiedemeyer was bullish about his team’s play Saturday.
“I thought it was a great game,” he said. “I thought our offense did great and our special teams did great. They got some big plays against us on defense, but they couldn’t run against us.”