HAMILTON — On Saturday, first-year Hamilton-Wenham football coach Tim Freiermuth was on the sideline opposite the team he coached with for the last two seasons.
His first time facing his former squad was successful, with his Generals — behind 136 receiving yards and a pair of touchdowns from Thomas Ring — handily defeating Pentucket, 31-0.
“It was a little bittersweet, but it felt pretty good,” said Freiermuth, his team now 2-2 on the season. “I played there, I coached there, I taught there. I know a lot of the players. It’s a great opportunity to compete. That’s a great staff over there.”
Hamilton-Wenham took the early lead when Cooper Soolman returned the opening kickoff 78 yards to the end zone.
“We had to execute and start fast,” Freiermuth said. “That was the message this week, and what a better way to start it.”
The Generals’ first offensive series didn’t go quite as well. After they made it to the Pentucket 5 for a 1st-and-goal on a 37-yard gain down the left sideline by James Day, back-to-back bad snaps moved H-W back to the 32. Quarterback John Ertel made it back to the 18 on third down, but after he tripped on a 7-yard gain on fourth down, the Panthers took over.
Three plays into the second quarter, Ertel connected with Ring for a 75-yard touchdown in the middle of the end zone. Hamilton-Wenham started the series on its own 25 after A.J. Cote came up with an interception at the Generals’ 25.
Ertel and Ring connected for another touchdown on the second-to-last play of the first half, this one for 24 yards.
“They came in a little banged up, but they both meshed well,” Freiermuth said of his quarterback and top receiver.
Another interception — this one from Day, who caught a deflected pass at the Pentucket 48 — led to the Generals’ third touchdown. On the fifth play of the series, Day carried the ball around the right end for a 12-yard scoring run.
Pentucket (0-4) had its most successful offensive series toward the end of the third quarter, when it drove to the H-W 31. Jackson Rich carried the ball for a 16-yard gain into Generals territory at the 38. After a 7-yard loss, the Panthers regained 14 yards with Johnny Igoe carrying the ball. On third and 2, Generals defensive lineman Ben Wood stopped quarterback Max Cloutier for a 5-yard loss. On fourth and 7, Brady Daniels picked off Cloutier at the 29.
“We weren’t really consistent,” said Pentucket coach Steve Hayden. “They were more physical. We’ve had some injuries. The young kids we have did some good things and we had some good senior leadership. There’s always a silver lining.”
Adam Green, who kicked all four of Hamilton-Wenham’s extra points, capped off the scoring with a 27-yard field goal with 2:34 remaining.Hamilton-Wenham 31, Pentucket 0at Hamilton
Pentucket (0-4) 0 0 0 0 0
Hamilton-Wenham (2-2) 7 14 7 3 31Scoring summaryHW-Cooper Soolman 78 kickoff return (Adam Green kick)
HW-Thomas Ring 75 pass from John Ertel (Green kick)
HW-Ring 24 pass from Ertel (Green kick)
HW-James Day 12 run (Green kick)
HW-Green 27 field goalIndividual StatisticsRUSHING: Pentucket — Johnny Igoe 11-48, Jackson Rich 10-32, Aidan Blot 1-13, Aaron Katshka 1-2, Kyle Ventola 1-1, Max Cloutier 3(-2) Hamilton-Wenham — James Day 2-19, Chris Collins 3-18, Aidan Clarke 3-16, John Ertel 2-7, Adam Green 1-4.
PASSING: Pentucket — Cloutier 4-10-24-0-2, Kevin Relter 0-1-0-0-1 Hamilton-Wenham— Ertel 10-16-204-2-0.
RECEIVING: Pentucket — Relter 1-8, Igoe 1-7, Katshka 1-5, Rich 1-4; Hamilton-Wenham — Thomas Ring 4-170, Green 3-20, Collins 2-14, Nathan DaSilva 1-0.