The Hamilton-Wenham football team had to watch the scoreboard last Friday night, knowing that if Manchester Essex upset Amesbury they’d be able to control their own playoff fate in their own game on Saturday.
Once the Hornets did their part, there was no stopping the Generals, who beat Georgetown 27-6 to clinch a spot in the Division 4 North playoffs.
“When I heard Amesbury lost I was psyched,” said senior Ian Dickey, who tied his own school record with 31 carries in the win over Georgetown. “It was a whole new zone getting ready for the game. We knew we had a chance.”
Hamilton’s reward is a date with No. 1 seed Pentucket (6-1) tomorrow at 2 p.m. The Sachems are a familiar foe, having beat H-W 34-15 last year. The Generals won the previous two meetings between the teams, though, and Pentucket is coming off its first loss of the season last weekend.
“They’re a really good team but I think we have a shot,” said Dickey. “Obviously you want to believe in yourself and you have to go into a playoff game thinking you have a shot. They have some good players, and hopefully we can find some good match-ups.”
Dickey has been a revelation at running back for Hamilton-Wenham, a club that lost projected top running back Cam Macri on the second play of the season opener. In the six weeks since, Dickey has vaulted into the area’s top 10 in rushing with 809 yards and eight touchdowns. He’s also been a workhorse, carrying a school-record 31 times twice and ranking second on the North Shore with 155 total carries.
“Ian worked his way into being a two-way started at receiver and linebacker last year, and he had a tough summer with some injuries. He was a little down fighting through that, and we’ve been so happy to see him respond the way he has,” said H-W coach Andrew Morency. “He’s a hard-working kid that’s become a leader. He deserves the success.”