A tough break for the Bearcats in the second quarter of Friday’s District 5-2A opener gave Holliday enough momentum to carry the Eagles to a 28-0 win.
Holliday scored two second-quarter touchdowns just 11 seconds apart for a 14-0 lead at halftime.
Jacob Cole scored first on a 1-yard run with 4:39 left in the half. Henrietta’s C.D. Crumpton caught the ensuing kickoff at the goal line, but slipped and fell to one knee. Henrietta found itself on the 1-yard line for first and 10.
On the first play of the drive, Holliday took possession of the ball on a fumble recovery, then scored with a Sam Shirley run on its first play from scrimmage.
Holliday’s Shirley scored twice more in the second half, first in the third quarter on a 2-yard run, and in the fourth on a 42-yard run.
“The kids played hard, they played their guts out,” said Coach Byron West. “We talked about this all week long: The speed they have and everything they have got going, we knew we were going to get hit in the backfield some, we knew we were going to have some blunders. They’re a good football team.”
In the first quarter, it looked as though the game would be a battle between defenses.
Ethan Cantrell opened the game by sacking Holliday’s quarterback and Crumpton knocked down a Holliday pass, forcing the Eagles to punt just four plays into the game. But, it turned into a quarter of three-and-outs for both teams.
Holliday managed one breakaway play that developed on shear luck when a pass bounced off the leg of its intended receiver and into the hands of another Eagle. The play put Holliday within field goal range at the 19-yard line, but the kick was short.
The Bearcats rushed for 98 yards on 39 carries. Dalton Day led the Bearcat ball carriers with 57 yards on 13 carries. Quarterback Conner Fletcher completed six of 13 pass attempts for 84 yards, including a 47-yard connection with Layton Webb in the third quarter. Joe Dell Williams led the Bearcat defense with six tackles. Tyler Coleman also recorded a sack and Webb picked off a Holliday pass.
Holliday’s Brennan Whitaker completed 10 of 16 pass attempts for 137 yards. The Eagles carried the ball 33 times for 147 yards.
With the loss, Henrietta falls to 2-4.
Thursday night, Henrietta’s junior high and junior varsity teams swept Holliday. The seventh grade Bearcats beat the Eagles 36-12, the eighth grade team remained undefeated with an 18-7 win and the JV won 30-12.