There is no question Trenton Hammond has good hands. If he can get both of them on the ball, it’s almost a guaranteed catch.
But what impresses me most about Hammond is what he can do after the catch.
Hammond has some moves. My granddad called them “swivel hips” when I played, and Hammond has them. He is able to move in and out and then burst upfield in a hurry. He can use short drive steps or long strides to distance himself from defenders.
And even when a defender is between Hammond and the end zone, it’ not enough. I have yet to see an open field tackle on Hammond in a one-on-one all year.
Friday was no exception.
And when tow people have to dedicate themselves to slowing down Hammond, that leaves other Redskins open for mis-match opportunities.
Even if Hammond is double covered, that alone isn’t enough to stop him. He has outjumped defenders all season long.
Couple that with a nose-to-the-grindstone effort from players like Nolan Larkin and Rex Heronemus, and a Tim-Tebow-type quarterback in Britton Abbott, and it is almost unfair for defenses to try to slow down the high-octane offense.
Despite temperatures slightly above freezing Friday night, Liberal torched the Goddard defense for 554 yards, and they made it look relatively easy.
Friday, Eisenhower will get its chance to try and slow down Hammond, but even if they commit two or three, Abbott will find another target. Or he will hand it to Heronemus. Or he will run it himself.
Liberal can score. A lot.
They give up a lot of points, too. But if you can get into a shootout, Liberal has a lot of bullets.
The measurement of improvement comes in seeing how you compete against teams that beat you a year ago. So far, Liberal has turned three 2012 losses into 2013 wins (Ulysses, Dodge City and Goddard).
What Liberal cannot do is allow a 2012 win to become a 2013 loss, and the only way that can happen is if Eisenhower beats the Redskins Friday.
A year ago, the Redskins won a 56-35 shootout with the Tigers, but that was a battle of two 1-6 teams at the time.
This year, the Tigers have two wins and will have revenge on their minds.
Last year’s loss to Goddard made it an uphill climb to reach the playoffs. But now, the Redskins have the upper hand after the first week of district.
Liberal has scored more than 50 three times this season, and Friday’s 64 was a season high.
It will take that kind of effort the next two weeks if the Redskins want a district title.