Even-keeled Hamman leading way for Hawks

Skyline's quarterback Dylan Hamman throws a pass during last Friday night's game against Culpeper. Hamman has led the Hawks into the second round of the playoffs. Rich Cooley/Daily file

FRONT ROYAL – Dylan Hamman is even-keeled on and off the football field.

That’s part of the reason the Skyline senior quarterback has been the perfect guy to lead his teammates late in the game this season.

Three times this season Hamman has led the Hawks to last-minute victories.

“He doesn’t panic much,” Skyline wide receiver Marcus Burke said. “He usually does what he needs to do. That’s what I respect about him.”

Burke was on the other end of the game-winning touchdown in last week’s 24-21 win over Culpeper giving the Hawks their second playoff win in school history.

Skyline trailed 21-17 with only 1:10 left in the game, and Hamman calmly led them down the field for the 1-yard touchdown pass.

“I just knew that we had to get down field, or if something doesn’t work out stop the clock somehow,” Hamman said. “It was amazing getting that playoff win, the touchdown to Marcus.”

Hamman has been playing quarterback since midget league football. However, the last two years he was the back-up quarterback behind Corban Ruch.

Skyline coach Heath Gilbert said that he and the rest of the coaching staff were impressed that if it bothered Hamman at all he never let it show to his teammates or the coaches.

“He always worked hard and, individually, even though he didn’t get to be that guy in the game a lot, he took it seriously,” Gilbert said. “I think that really helped him prepare for the upcoming season.”

In July, Ruch decided to transfer to Randolph-Macon Academy. Gilbert said it helped Hamman that Ruch had been injured back-to-back summers and Hamman got a lot of reps with the team over the summer.

“He had been taking most of the quarterback reps, and the kids were confident in his abilities,” Gilbert said.

The first start of Hamman’s season came against Central and it was a memorable one.

Hamman led the Hawks on a game-winning drive, and scored the game-winner on a run after making a spin move to get to the end zone.

“My favorite memory was probably the first game, probably the Central game,” Hamman said. “The running touchdown I had that was my favorite memory. … That was amazing, because it was my first game, first season. It was awesome getting that game-winning touchdown.”

It was a sign of things to come in a lot of ways for Hamman. Gilbert said about halfway through the season Hamman started to become a more effective runner, which Skyline needed with its read-option offense.

Throughout the season Hamman was effective throwing the ball. He broke the single-season passing record at Skyline. He finished the regular season with 1,774 passing yards and 16 touchdowns. He also ran for 96 yards and two scores.

“I kind of surprised myself breaking the record and everything,” Hamman said. “I knew I had the capability of doing, but I never knew what would happen, how good I would do. It’s awesome.”

Hamman’s heroics continued the last two weeks. First, with a game-winning drive against Warren County and then again last week against Culpeper.

“If a bad play happens he’s going to be the same guy that comes in the huddle — steady and consistency has been great for our team this year,” Gilbert said. “When the pressure has been on he’s delivered. We’ve had (three) games where we had to do something at the end of the game to win it and he was able to do that.”

Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or tkeeler@nvdaily.com