2013 SD Football Championships: Avon rallies back to win 5th title

Avon has a proud winning tradition in the nine-man ranks. Hamlin was once a great class

11B team, and had won four state 11B titles between 1989 and 1996. Coming into the dome,

Avon had played their 2013 campaign with nary a loss, their closest game being a 20-

point win. Hamlin had a seasoned defense, also playing to an 11-0 mark coming into the

dome, having scored five shutouts and allowing only 6.5 points per game this season.

So there was a little bit of surprise when Avon took the opening kickoff on Friday

morning, and marched right down the field on the Chargers' defense, scoring the opening

touchdown in seven plays when Devin Tolsma ran for a 20-yard touchdown. Logan Mudder

tacked on the 2-point conversion, and Avon led 8-0 with 9:16 remaining in the first

quarter. Hamlin was able to do little on their opening possession, and punted away.

Hamlin's defense then adjusted and was able to stop the Avon wishbone offense on the

next possession, and Hamlin tied the game with 4:27 left in the opening quarter when

quarterback Brody Grantham busted a 24-yard run, and then hit his brother Ryder Grantham

for a 25 yard touchdown pass. Brody Grantham tied the game with the conversion run, to

make the game 8-8 after the first quarter.

After Hamlin's defense showed what put them in this game, their offense took the ball at

the Avon 40, and took four plays to take the lead when the brothers Grantham connected

again for a 9-yard touchdown pass. The conversion failed, and Hamlin had a 14-8 lead

with 7:51 left in the first half. Avon was able to drive the ball to Hamlin's 24 yard

line, but the Chargers' made a great fourth-and-1 stand, and took the ball on downs.

They scored after Brody Grantham hit Ryder Grantham for 38 yards, and Brody bowled

through Avon's defense to extend Hamlin's lead with a 12-yard touchdown run. The

conversion made it a 22-8 lead at the halftime break.

Hamlin took the second half kickoff, but a key holding penalty stopped their opening

drive and the Chargers punted back to the Pirates. Brandon Kocmich made a 36 yard reutrn

to the Hamlin 39 yard line. Devin Tolsma broke free for a touchdown on the next play,

but it was brought back after a holding penalty. Two plays after that, Kocmich ran off

right tackle for an 8-yard touchdown run. The two-pointer cut Hamlin's lead to six, 22-

16 with 7:09 left in the third quarter.

Hamlin punted on their next possession, but their defense held. Avon's punt went off of

return man Brody Grantham, and Avon recovered at the Hamlin 35-yard line. The third

quarter ended with Avon facing 4th and 4 on the Hamlin 17-yard line. Hamlin's defense

stopped Logan Mudder on fourth down, and Hamlin took the ball on downs.

On the first play after Hamlin punted, Mudder hit Kocmich on a 42-yard pass play,

putting Avon on the Hamlin 14-yard line. The Chargers forced a fumble and took the ball

a play later. Hamlin again was able to do little, but they did take about 3 minutes off

the game clock, leaving Avon with the ball at their own 45-yard line with 4:54 to play.

Facing 4th and 7, Mudder attempted to fire to the end zone. But the pass was short and

intercepted by Dustin Quiram. Avon used their final timeout on defense with 2:22 to

play, and Hamlin facing 3rd and 8 from their own 23. Avon's defense held, and the

Pirates took the ball at thier own 46 with 2:04 to play after a 29 yard punt out of

bounds. After a defensive pass interference penalty, the Pirates ran a perfect screen to

Kole Beeson, who scored from 38 yards to tie the game with 1:08 remaining. Tolsma ran in

the conversion, and Avon led 24-22.

Hamlin's final drive came up short when Cody Namminga intercepted a Brody Grantham pass.

With both teams out of timeouts, Avon knelt on the ball and sealed their 5th state

championship and 3rd undfeated season. Devin Tolsma won the Joe Robbie Most Outstanding

Player award, running 16 times for 94 yards and a touchdown.

SCORE BY QUARTERS     1     2     3     4-FINAL
AVON                                    8     0     8    8-24
HAMLIN                              8    14     0    0-22

RUSHING: AVON: Kocmich 21-99-1TD; Tolsma 16-94-1; Anderson 2-4-0; Mudder 9-2-0. HAMLIN:

B. Grantham 20-154-1TD; Quiram 18-97-0.

PASSING: AVON: Mudder 2-5-80-1TD-1INT; Kocmich 1-1-31-0-0; Anderson 0-1-0-0-0. HAMLIN:

B. Grantham 4-12-79-2TD-1INT.

RECEIVING: AVON: Kocmich 1-42-0TD; Beeson 1-38-1; Namminga 1-31-0. HAMLIN: R. Grantham

2-48-1TD; Niemann 1-25-1; Koisti 1-6-0.

Filed Under Football | Varsity Sports