Mental mistakes on offense and few defensive stops derailed the Hamilton Lions in a 26-8 loss against Ethel on the road on Friday.

After the loss, Hamilton drops to 1-7 on the season and 0-3 in division play.

“We’ve got to make fewer mistakes as a football team and grow up a little,” Hamilton coach Wade Tackett said. “Offensively, we had a couple false start calls and some blocking miscues. On special teams, Ethel recovered two onside kicks against us, and defensively, we couldn’t get them off the field quick enough and allowed too many big plays.”

The Lions scored their only touchdown of the night in the fourth quarter on a 55-yard pass from Evan Pounders to Jacourey Miller, and Rye Howard completed the two-point conversion on a run.

Injuries on the offensive line have been a problem lately for the Lions, but Tackett says that they are trying to work through it by incorporating younger guys.

“We’re pretty banged up on the O-line right now,” Tackett said. “We’ve got some young guys that we’re trying to work in at that position and see who will ride it out for the year. We’ve got a lot of growing up to do on the offensive line.”

Despite the loss and offensive struggles, Tackett said he saw some improvement in the physicality of their defense.

“I think defensively we’ve progressively gotten better as far as trying to be physical, going at the ball carrier and making plays,” Tackett said. “Watching the defense continuously progress and play with more effort was a bright spot.”

With now four division games left, Tackett said the Lions look to put the loss behind him and look forward into division play.

“We still have four district games left and every game is winnable for us,” Tackett said. “Going into each week, I feel like if we play our best and execute the way that we’re capable of we can win games. We just have to stop making the mistakes that we’ve been making over the past couple of games.”

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