HAMBURG >> Hamburg knew the graduation losses of a pair of 1,000-yard running backs might signal a rough go on offense coming into the 2017 season.
The Hawks could not have imagined how rough a start it has turned out to be.
Friday night at Hawk Hill, Littlestown scored five first-half touchdowns and held the host Hawks off the scoreboard until late in the contest to register a 48-7 win in Hamburg’s home opener.
The Hawks (0-3) have scored two touchdowns in three games.
A year ago, Jordan McAllister and Logan Werley backed signal caller Tanner Quigley and delivered a 6-5 campaign to first-year head man Chuck Kutz.
All three are gone. Kutz and the Hawks are searching for the answers. Those, so far, have been tantalizingly elusive.
“We’re very young, we’re playing some freshman as well,” Kutz said. “It’s a learning curve and we’re only going to be as good as how quickly they learn and get better.”
Late last week, Kutz tried freshman Ryan Moseman under center in relief of original starter Donovan Remp, who got banged up.
Moseman started Friday’s home opener against Bolts; he was 5 of 12 for 10 yards and was sacked four times. Moseman’s young arm was not inaccurate — wide receivers dropped four balls on him in the first half. The running game produced just 106 net yards on 29 carries; Logan Herber provided 81 yards of that and 55 of those on one tote.
Brendan Hamilton scored Hamburg’s lone touchdown, with 4:55 left, a 10-yard scamper that made it 48-7.
“To try to get a little more pass-oriented,” was Kutz’s reply to starting Moseman against Littlestown. “I thought he did a nice job a week ago.”
The Thunderbolts blew the game open with a 27-point second quarter that ballooned a 7-0 edge to 34-0. Quarterback Jakob Lane scored a pair of touchdowns, on 1- and 28-yard dashes, while Corbin Brown bookended those with touchdown runs of 50 and 12 yards.
Littlestown (2-0) planted the end zone of five of its first six possessions and seven of nine overall. Brown ran for 80 yards on six carries. Lane struggled with his arm accuracy at times — at one point Littlestown’s junior QB misfired on seven straight attempts, but it still did not affect th Bolts’ ability to move the football.
Six-foot-2, 245-pound senior quarterback Devin Gullickson relieved Lane. Gullickson ripped of a 50-yard rumble down the left sideline on his second snap and directed the resulting scoring drive, which he finished from the 1, to make it 41-0 early in third quarter.
Littlestown’s biggest issue Friday was laundry — the Bolts were flagged nine times for 80 yards to the consternation of their longtime head coach.
“We had ’em outmanned a little bit,” veteran Littlestown head coach Mike Lippy said. “But we had so many darned penalties, that had it been a different game, we would have been in a hole.’
Littlestown 48, Hamburg 7
Littlestown – 7 27 14 0 — 48
Hamburg – 0 0 0 7 — 7
LT- Dylan Morrey 2 run (Alex Potts kick), 8:30
LT- Corbin Brown 50 run (kick failed), 10:05
LT- Jakob Lane 1 run (Potts kick), 6:26
LT- Lane 28 run (Potts kick), 5:24
LT- Brown 12 run (Potts kick), :09
LT- Devin Gullickson 1 run (Potts kick), 9:34
LT- Jason Penton 8 run (Pott kick), 1:40
H – Brendan Hamilton 10 run (Alex Blatt kick), 4:55