By Ian Perrotta
Hamtramck football is blood, sweat and tears. When the Cosmos play they sweat and the other team bleeds and then goes home crying.
At least that was the case last at last Friday’s (Oct. 1) Homecoming game against STAR Academy. In a thrilling win over the Falcons, Hamtramck won its first game of the season with an impressive 26-0 victory.
The STAR team forfeited in the fourth quarter after a shoving match erupted between players on both sides.
The action started in the first quarter when senior running back John Blanding scored on a six-yard run to the goal line. In the second quarter, junior quarterback Kurel Butler cracked the game wide-open with a 40-yard touchdown pass to senior tight end D’juan Wilson, taking the score to 14-0 at halftime.
At the beginning of the third quarter, Wilson scored again, this time on a 10-yard run. Senior running back Nouraddein Gazzali then closed the quarter with a two-yard run. By the fourth quarter, Head Coach Leo Wells decided to give his younger players a chance to play in the Homecoming game. Unfortunately, a scuffle ensued and the STAR team walked out on the game for the second year in a row.
Defensively, the Cosmos also came up big. Wilson and junior defensive linemen Cleveland Anderson each had two sacks, and the rest of the defense denied STAR the opportunity to score.
Coach Wells attributes to the team’s successful performance to a number of factors. While at the beginning of the season the team had just 14 players, the program now has more than doubled in size to 30 players, which understandably makes a huge difference. And though many are just freshmen and sophomores, they have been able to gain valuable game-time experience – something that is helping them improve off the field as well.
“I thought we had our best week of practice last week,” said Wells, “and it really paid off. The key is keeping this group together. I’m excited about the future.”