Hamilton tried mightily, but in the end there was no stopping Milwaukee Riverside.
The Tigers came to Hamilton High School Friday night and provided the fireworks offensively. Riverside gained 488 yards of total offense and rolled to a 41-28 victory over the Chargers in the third round of the WIAA Division 1 playoffs.
The Tigers, with an 11-1 record, will face Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln in the Level 4 playoffs next weekend. Lincoln defeated D.C. Everest, 41-24, Friday night.
The Chargers finished the season 10-2.
When asked, Hamilton coach John Damato said the Tigers were the best offensive team he had seen this season.
“Brookfield Central is very good, but this is the best offense we’ve faced,” Damato said. “This isn’t to take anything away from Central, but we’ve seen nothing like this. It was hard to simulate it in practice.”
Leading the Tigers was quarterback Shamari Triggs. The quarterback completed 12 of 18 passes with four touchdowns. He was able to use his elusiveness to keep plays alive and while his passes weren’t pretty, he was able to get it to the open receiver. Riverside also got big games from its running backs. Jalen Gillie had 122 yards in 15 carries and Larry Watkins added 93 yards in 14 rushes.
Triggs led the way on the team’s first drive, hooking up with wide receiver Eric Murry on a 36-yard touchdown play. Riverside missed the extra point. That gave the Chargers what proved to be their only opening of the night.
Nick Patterson took the kickoff 64 yards to the Riverside 27. Five plays later
fullback Kyle Schiedemeyer scored on a 1-yard run. Kenny Lo kicked the extra point and the Chargers held a 7-6 lead. Riverside, however, outscored the Chargers 15-0 in the second quarter and held a 21-7 halftime lead
“Riverside has a real talented team, but we came out flat in the first half,” Patterson said. “We were real sloppy on offense in the first half.”
Hamilton got a huge lift when quarterback Matt Judson found running back Drew Patterson by himself over the middle for a 35-yard touchdown play with nine seconds left in the third period. That cut Riverside’s lead to seven going into the final quarter. Judson threw two other touchdown passes, to J.J. Flor in the fourth
But the Chargers could never slow down the Tigers.
“We expected more out of ourselves, but we came up short today,” said Nick Patterson, who gained 61 yards in 11 carries in his final game with the Chargers.