|HHS dismantles Cougars, prepares for Wiggins|
|Written by Chris Lee|
After letting three consecutive opponents jump out to early leads on them in previous weeks, the Holyoke Dragons turned that statistic around and weren’t about to let it happen again. Holyoke was the team to pour it on early and secure the first win of the 2010 campaign.
The Dragons hosted Resurrection Christian Friday, Sept. 24 in the second of three straight home games and came away with a huge 40-7 victory.
“We’re pleased with the way the kids came out,” coach Rod Trumper said. “They played really well to start with.” That’s something they haven’t seen in the first three games.
Running back Brett Cumming crosses the goal line in the second quarter
All aspects of the game were clicking for Holyoke. Three different Dragon players had interceptions and the defense forced three fumbles. The defense only bent on one drive.
Special teams also played a big role in the victory. Broc Pelle and Brett Cumming each returned a kickoff for a touchdown. In fact, Cumming’s return came on the opening kick of the second half and proved to be the final score of the game by either team. A defensive battle ensued as Holyoke held on for the big victory.
One of the key parts was the line of scrimmage. Trumper said Holyoke controlled both the offensive and defensive lines. “They thought they would be able to just run the ball right at us,” the coach said. This forced the Cougars to go away from their game plan and Holyoke took advantage and caused some turnovers.
The Cougars’ longest possession came on an 11-play scoring drive in the second quarter.
The Dragons now sit at 1-3 and will look for another win when they face off against Wiggins Friday, Oct. 1 for the homecoming game.
Wiggins holds a 2-2 record after consecutive wins over Denver Lutheran and Ridgeview Academy.
Dragons pour it on early
After forcing the Cougars into a three and out, the Dragons didn’t need long as they moved right down the field for the first score of the game. Pelle scored from 10 yards out to give Holyoke the early advantage.
The defense again shut down its opponent’s drive forcing another punt. Seven plays later Pelle crossed the goal line for his second score, this time from 18 yards out. Cumming added the extra two points on the ground.
For the third drive in a row, Holyoke’s defense held to force another punt. The ensuing drive showed promise but was stalled deep in Cougar territory on fourth down.
One play later Resurrection Christian fumbled and Holyoke recovered which set up the next scoring drive. Quarterback Reid Baumgartner connected with Cumming for the six-yard touchdown to extend the Dragons’ lead 20-0.
The Cougars fought back and moved the ball down the field to score their only touchdown of the game—a 35-yard strike with just under four minutes remaining in the half.
On the ensuing kickoff, Pelle brought the crowd to its feet as he took the kickoff 80 yards for the score. It was his second of the year. Cumming again added the two-point conversion.
Another three and out by the Cougars led to the next score for Holyoke. With time running out in the half, Pelle crossed the goal line for his fourth touchdown of the night.
Resurrection Christian fumbled the following kickoff giving the Dragons the ball back with 15 seconds left. They ran out the clock and headed into the locker room with the 34-7 advantage.
Parker Redfern stretches out for a pass during Holyoke’s victory
Defenses battle out second half
A fired up Dragon team hit the field in the second half and only got hotter as Cumming fielded the Cougar kickoff at the 28-yard line and took it the distance for his second score of the night. Holyoke was flagged for delay of game on the two-point conversion and was unable to punch it in.
The score was the final one of the game by either team. Holyoke stalled all of the Cougars’ second-half possessions with turnovers. Baumgartner, Seth Baker and Austin Killin each picked off the Cougar quarterback and another drive ended with a fumble. Killin returned his pick 55 yards giving Holyoke nice field position in Cougar territory.
“We were very pleased,” coach Trumper said. “We feel like we are making progress.”
After getting their first taste of victory, the Dragons hope to carry the momentum into the homecoming game Friday. The game against Wiggins at 7:30 p.m. will begin conference play for the Dragons. The homecoming king and queen will be crowned at halftime of the game.
Holyoke finished with 299 yards of total offense, most of which came on the ground.
Pelle led the rushing with 132 yards on 21 carries. Cumming ran the ball 14 times for 64 yards and Jaydin Goldenstein ran for 43 yards on eight carries.
Baumgartner was one for three for six yards and a touchdown.
Killin led the defense with seven tackles followed by Baker with five. Baumgartner and Pelle each had four. Pelle also recorded two sacks.
Baumgartner, Trevor Dalton and Alex Quintana each broke up two passes on defense as the Cougars aired it out in desperation.
Carlos Diaz punted the ball three times with a long of 25 yards.
Other North Central action reported
Other North Central Conference teams played Friday, Sept. 24. Wiggins beat Ridgeview Academy 44-6, Yuma fell short to Burlington 28-33, Wray beat St. Francis 43-20, Highland was blown out by Lyons 0-48 and Akron lost to Limon 27-35.