|Dragons shutout 43-0; to host 2008 State Champs Friday|
|Written by Chris Lee|
Holyoke traveled 90 miles south to face the Burlington Cougars on Friday, Sept. 25 and suffered a 43-0 loss. A week earlier the Cougars traveled to Akron and lost a close game to the Rams who have won three straight State Championships. Akron will visit Holyoke on Friday, Oct. 2 and bring a 43-game win-streak along with them.
Big and strong Cougar team runs all over Dragons
Holyoke won the toss and elected to receive the ball Friday night. Beginning with good field position at their own 41 yard line, the Dragons couldn’t get anything going. Broc Pelle took the handoff and was taken down for a six-yard loss to begin the drive. Quarterback Logan Krueger wasn’t on target and threw two incomplete passes forcing the Dragons to punt.
It didn’t take long for the Cougars to find the end zone. They began the drive on the Dragon 45-yard line and ran the ball down to the 11-yard line. They were flagged for holding on the next play backing them up to the 15. On third down, running back Colin Eberhart scored his first of two touchdowns. The Cougars missed the extra point attempt and led 6-0 with 8:41 left in the first quarter.
Holyoke began the next drive at their own 22-yard line. Krueger connected with Kyle Carper for an 11-yard pass to give the Dragons their first first down of the game. He then found Ryan Baumgartner for a five-yard pass. His next pass was incomplete and a one-yard pass to Baumgartner ended the drive.
It didn’t take long for the Cougars to again find the end zone and extend their lead 12-0. Eberhart and Brok Rhoades put together runs of 12 and 15 yards to move the ball into the red zone, After an illegal procedure call, Rhoades took the ball for a five yard gain. On the next play the Burlington quarterback hit a wide open receiver for the touchdown. The two-point conversion failed.
Holyoke only had the ball for two plays on their next drive before Krueger’s pass was picked off. The Cougars worked the clock and took the ball from their own 19-yard line down the field for their third touchdown of the first quarter. Again the PAT failed. With 1:09 left in the quarter, the Cougars led 18-0.
Holyoke again went three and out on the next drive punting the ball back to Burlington.
The Dragon defense stiffened on the drive stopping the first run for a loss of four yards. Burlington answered with a 16-yard run and a first down. Again the Holyoke defense appeared holding the Cougar run game to four yards on three carries and forcing a punt. It appeared the stop pumped some excitement into the Dragon sideline but it was short lived as Krueger was picked off for the second time on third-and-seven.
Two plays later the Cougars broke free for a 30-yard touchdown run. The two-point attempt failed again but Burlington held the comfortable 24-0 lead with 6:43 left in the half.
Holyoke began the next drive on its 30-yard line. After penalties on both teams the Dragons still couldn’t move the ball against the relentless Cougar defense and were forced to punt.
Burlington took the ball and again moved it right down the field, taking it into the end zone for the fifth time in the half. They were flagged twice for a false start on the two-point conversion and were unable to convert. With just over three minutes left in the half they led 30-0.
The Dragon offense picked up just its second first down on the next drive. A couple of short passes to Baumgartner and a false start penalty on Burlington helped them move the ball. The Cougar defense came with pressure on the next few plays getting to Krueger. They were forced to punt with a minute left in the half.
It looked as if the Cougars were going to add another thouchdown to the board but a couple of penalties kept them out of the end zone and time expired.
Holyoke kicked to the Cougars to open the second half and the defense was able to force them to punt. Another three and out led to a Holyoke punt. Five plays later the Cougars tacked on six more points. They converted their first extra point of the game and led 37-0.
Holyoke took the kickoff and three plays later, Krueger’s pass was intercepted and returned 30 yards for a touchdown extending the Burlington lead 43-0.
That would end up being the final score as the teams sent in substitutes for the final quarter of play and neither team found the end zone.
“We ran into a very good football team,” coach Rod Trumper said. “I don’t know whether or not we showed up ready to play. That’s a good football team but they’re not 40 points better than we are.”
Holyoke will host Akron on Friday, Oct. 2 to open 1A North Central Conference play. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m.
“They’re (Akron) just a machine,” Trumper said. “They’re a step above everyone else in our division.”
Trumper said Akron has perfected the single wing running attack and it will be hard to stop. He hopes instead of going the other way and playing conservative they will get out there and fly around and see what can happen. “We don’t have anything to lose,” he added.
Krueger finished six of 17 for 28 yards and three interceptions. He rushed six times for a loss of seven yards. Carper caught one pass for 11 yards and Baumgartner hauled in five catches for 17 yards.
Jaydin Goldenstein led the rushing as the only player to finish with positive yards. He ran three times for 10 yards.
Carper led with nine solo tackles. Mark Gertner finished with four, Luke Garrett three, Reid Baumgartner, Ryan Baumgartner, Krueger, Pelle and Francisco Diaz all had two tackles. Jesus Hermosillo and Parker Redfern each added one tackle.
Gertner punted seven times with a 32.5 yard average. His long was a 46-yard boot.
The Dragons finished with 19 total yards of offense and allowed the Cougars to tally up 375 total yards.
Other North Central action
Other North Central Conference teams played Friday, Sept. 25, with Highland and Wiggins picking up losses.
Akron beat Limon 31-14, Yuma flew by Lyons 33-6, Highland suffered its first loss 13-37 to Battle Mountain, Wiggins fell to Byers 14-33 and Wray beat Salida 34-14.
Junior varsity grabs win over Grant, Neb.
The Holyoke junior varsity football team took the field on Monday, Sept. 21 to face Grant, Neb.
Trumper said Grant showed up with a pretty good team and the Dragons were able to hold on for the 6-0 win. “We were really happy with the kids,” Trumper said. “Especially with the defense. They really played well.”