Maxwell eyeing title
Fans of the Maxwell High football team find out today if the saying "offense sells tickets, but defense wins championships" holds true, because the Panthers have one more game to play.
A swarming Maxwell defense clamped a stranglehold on Hamilton's running game Friday, with the larcenous defense picking off six passes and making a pair of goal-line stands in a 38-0 win.
With the victory, the top-seeded Panthers host No. 2 Quincy tonight for all the marbles in Division IV. Kickoff is at 6 p.m.
Maxwell head coach Robert Wilson hopes to carry the same kind of energy that dismantled Hamilton into the championship game.
"We were real physical and came out hitting," said Maxwell coach Robert Wilson of his team's performance against Hamilton. "Derek Mench and Aaron Wilson were huge at middle linebacker." The duo recorded 15 and 12 tackles, respectively against in the semifinal matchup.
Of his offense that exploited every arm-tackle attempted by Hamilton, Wilson remarked, "I trust our O-line. They made things go for our running game, opening the holes."
But now it's on to Quincy, a team no stranger to recent success.
After whitewashing the second-place team from the Mid-Valley League — one of the more deeper leagues in the Northern Section this season — Maxwell will now face the MVL champions. Quincy finished 5-1 in the MVL and 10-2 overall, with their losses coming at the hands of Ferndale (28-12) and Esparto (66-60) in a five-overtime epic.
Quincy's main threat is fullback Alex Easley, the team's leading rusher with 1,509 yards and 21 rushing TDs. Just twice was he held under 100 yards all season, and his high-water mark was a 340-yard game on Nov. 12 against East Nicolaus.
The Panthers also need to contend with Cameron Diaz deleon, the Trojan quarterback who is also their second-leading rusher with 971 yards. Not flashy as a thrower, Diaz deleon completed just 53 passes for 831 yards.