Alta gridders pound WLVA

Monday, September 8, 2003

After a few missteps early, quarterback Jamie Hammer and the Alta offense got into high gear here Friday night en route to a 29-0 win over the WLVA Wolverines.

The Cyclones deferred after winning the coin toss and chose to kickoff. And on the first play from scrimmage, WLVA's swift halfback Steve Wunschel ran off tackle for a 15-yard gain.

It was part of an early trend of offense for the Wolverines, and especially Wunschel. He had several long gains early in the contest.

WLVA drove to the Alta 35-yard line late in the first quarter but on the first play of the second, Wunschel was stopped short by a wall of Alta defenders on a fourth and one situation.

"That was a huge play for us," said Atla coach Kevin Hammer. "We had a little trouble defensively early because we were just playing to fast. We needed to slow down and a littel bit and once we did, things went well. It was a nice defensive performance by us.

That seemed to give the Cyclones the momentum they needed. Seven minutes later, Alta had a 16-0 lead.

Alta started at it's own 31 still early in the second quarter and used the run off tackle effectvely to drive to the WLVA 15. With 8 mnutes, 9 seconds left, Cyclone running back Jon Frances took a handloff from Hammer, went off tackle and went the distance through a huge hole. The big play of he drive was a long run by halfback Nick Nesbitt on a third a short situation in Wolverine territory.

After WLVA was stopped via an interception by Jamie Hammer , Alta got excellent field position . After taking over at it's own 49, Alta used four running plays to drive to the WLVA 18 yard line.

On a second down play from that point, Hammer rolled to his right but barely survived a strong WLVA rush and a sack. Instead he sprinted further toward the right sideline and whiile still on the run, threw back to his left, lofting a pass that was grabbed for an 18-yard scoring play by Jon Weinhold. Weinhold caught the ball in heavy traffic but simply outjumped the linebackers and defensive backs.

With 4:41 left in the first half, the Cyclones jumped to a quick 16-0 lead in the span of three and a half minutes.

"It was a nice play by Jamie to get the pass off," added coach Hammer. "And Jon really went up and got it. But we expect him to do that. He's a big kid at 6-3 and he can oulleap defenders."

The Cyclones put the icing on the cake in the last two quarters. Hammer scored on a 17-yard option run in the third quarter and Kole Peterson scored on a four-yard run in the fourth quarter.

Meanwhile, coach Hammer said his offense made some early mistakes, but came on as the game went on.

"I like the balance we had between the run and the pass," he said.

Hammer led all rushers with 100 yards on 14 carries and one touchdown. The prolific senior quarterback hit on five of seven passes for 86 yards, totaling 186 yards of offense alone.

Hammer added that he was especially pleased with his defense.

"We bent early but never broke," he said. "And I told the kids that we shouldn't play nervous on defense and we didn't. It was a solid defensive performance."

This was a non-district game for Alta. Next week, the Cylclones take on Boyer Valley in Dunlap in another non-district game.

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