|Dragons fall one point short to Wiggins|
|Written by Chris Lee|
Three weeks earlier, Holyoke was celebrating a one-point victory over Resurrection Christian. Last Friday night, Oct. 19 it again was a one-point final score, but the Dragon football team was on the wrong side of a 33-34 final.
It was parents night and the final home game of the regular season last Friday as Holyoke welcomed the Wiggins Tigers to Max Bernard Field.
After building up a 33-21 lead after three quarters, the energy was high on the home sideline and stands.
It was the fourth quarter that took the wind out of the Dragon sails. Wiggins scored two touchdowns to tie the game at 33 with 5:31 left. All they needed was a PAT to give them the lead.
Corey Ritchey, who was 1-3 on the night, lined up the kick and knocked it through.
With 5:31 left, Holyoke had plenty of time to try to score, but the drive stalled and they turned the ball over on downs. Wiggins ran the clock down and ended the game by taking two knees.
Coach John Zilla was not pleased with the play on the defensive side of the ball. He said they didn’t read and fill holes. He also said there was a lot of head-down tackling.
“Any time you score 30 some points, you should win a game. And you have a running back run over 200 yards, you should win a ball game. We just made too many mistakes,” Zilla said.
Andrew Kent kicks the ball during the second quarter. He kept on
Wiggins strikes first
Wiggins won the toss and elected to receive. Their first drive was snuffed out as the Dragon defense held them to a three and out.
Holyoke’s first drive of the game showed some promise as they moved into Wiggins’ territory. However, Wiggins held and forced a punt. The snap sailed over the head of punter Wyatt Powell who gathered it up and attempted a pass that Wiggins picked off and returned for a touchdown. The PAT was good, giving the Tigers a 7-0 lead.
Both teams were forced to punt on their next drive. Holyoke got the ball back with just under two minutes left in the opening period.
Dylan Kotch got the drive started with a three-yard gain up the middle. On second down, Brett Cumming took the handoff and bolted 88 yards down the field for the score. The PAT from Saul Ramos barely made it over the cross bar to tie the game.
Holyoke’s tough defense had Wiggins’ offense figured out and stopped them on a three and out.
The second quarter began with Holyoke at their own 47 yard line. The running attack moved the ball clear down to Wiggins’ one yard line. From there, Brett Cumming punched it in. The PAT was no good.
On the ensuing kickoff, Andrew Kent sent a squib down the middle of the field and the Tigers had trouble getting on top of it. Kent stayed focused and tracked the ball down at the Tiger 45. On first down, TJ Gertner rolled around the right side and sold the run which drew the defenders off a wide open Bradley Cumming. Gertner hit Cumming who scampered 45 yards for the second score in 16 seconds. On the two-point conversion, Brett Cumming ran around the right side and dove towards the pylon but couldn’t get the ball across the goal line.
The next Wiggins’ possession ended when Bradley Cumming intercepted a pass deep in Dragon territory.
Jesus Hermosillo, with the help of other Dragons, sacks Wiggins’
Holyoke couldn’t get anything going on the next drive and was forced to punt. Wiggins managed to block the punt, setting them up at the Dragon 21 yard line with 36 seconds left in the half. Four plays later on fourth and seven, Sauter hit Terran Freauff in the end zone for a touchdown pass. Logan Tharp blocked the PAT which kept the Dragon lead at 19-13.
Holyoke took the ball to begin the second half and drove right down the field. Brett Cumming punched in his third touchdown from five yards out and Gertner kept the two-point conversion ball and ran to the right side to cross the goal line.
Holyoke looked to tack on another score after Brett Cumming tipped a pass and intercepted Wiggins down in Dragon territory. The Wiggins defense stiffened up and forced a Holyoke three and out.
With the ball back, Wiggins moved down the field and scored another touchdown. After the two-point conversion, Wiggins only trailed by six, 21-27.
After recovering an onside kick, Holyoke was set up at their own 45. On first down, Brett Cumming busted loose again and rambled down the field 55 yards for the score with one minute left in the third. The answering touchdown came just 15 seconds after Wiggins’ last score.
The two point conversion was no good, which proved costly.
The Tigers’ first score of the final period came with 10:13 left. Sauter ran in from eight yards out. The Dragons were flagged for being offside on the PAT so Wiggins tried for two, but the attempt was unsuccessful.
Holyoke went three and out on the next drive, which set Wiggins up for the go-ahead touchdown. The Tigers moved down to the four yard line and from there, Sauter took it in.
The Dragons racked up 338 yards of total offense. Gertner was one for four with his only completion going to Bradley Cumming for a 45-yard touchdown.
On the ground, Brett Cumming led all rushers with 226 yards on 19 carries and four touchdowns. His long was the 88 yard touchdown run in the first quarter. Bradley Cumming finished with 70 yards on 13 carries. Dylan Kotch had 20 yards on 6 attempts.
On defense, Logan Tharp led the team with 21 tackles. Jesus Hermosillo was the only other player in double digits with 17. Fifteen Holyoke players recorded at least one tackle last Friday night.
Bradley Cumming and Brett Cumming each had one interception. Tharp recorded one PAT block and Andrew Kent had a fumble recovery.
Senior captains walk out to mid field prior to kickoff Friday night, Oct. 19. Pictured from left are
A lot riding on Friday’s game
The Dragons will travel to Wray Friday, Oct. 26 for the final game of the regular season. Kickoff is slated for 6:30 p.m. The Eagles are 7-1 and 5-0 in conference play.
If Holyoke (4-4, 4-1) beats Wray, they will secure a spot in the state playoffs. A loss will mean they still have a shot but won’t know until Sunday afternoon, Oct. 28.
Should Holyoke beat Wray by 14 or more points, they will lock up the conference championship. A win by 14 or less will give Holyoke the runner- up spot and a loss would leave them in third place behind Wray and Wiggins.
“They have to start believing in each other and themselves,” Zilla said of the team heading into this week’s important game.
Other North Central action reported
Other North Central Conference teams played last week. Wray beat Resurrection Christian 55-27, Highland lost to Byers 14-47 and Yuma beat Cornerstone Christian Academy 34-28.
JV scores reported
Holyoke’s junior varsity team has had its schedule shifted around this season.
They have only managed to get in four games to this point in the season.
Monday, Oct. 22 they hosted a circus with Wray and Yuma.
Holyoke played two quarters against each team. They beat Yuma 7-0 and lost in an overtime period to Wray 6-12. The Dragons and Eagles were tied at six after two quarters of play and decided to fight it out in an overtime session.
Earlier this season, the Dragon JV squad fell to St. Francis, Kan. 20-26; beat Perkins County, Neb. 19-13; and fell to Chase County, Neb. 6-28.
Games with Yuma and Limon were canceled. Monday’s circus with the Eagles and Indians was the final game for the junior varsity team this season.
Holyoke Enterprise October 25, 2012