|Dragons capture first win in Homecoming game|
|Written by Chris Lee|
Five interceptions helped lift Holyoke to a 40-21 win over the Peyton Panthers on Friday, Sept. 18. The win was the first of the year for the Dragons who now hold a 1-2 record.
Broc Pelle picked off the Panther’s quarterback three times, Kyle Carper and Logan Krueger each added an interception during the convincing non-conference win.
“We’re pleased to get the first win,” Coach Rod Trumper said. “Overall I think they played well. That was a fun game for them. They were excited winning the homecoming game.”
Peyton won the toss and elected to defer to the second half. The Panther kickoff was returned by Pelle to the 38-yard line. Two plays later, Krueger was picked off by Dillon Sutton.
Peyton was unable to get a first down after attempting a fourth-and-five giving the ball back to the Dragons.
Pelle broke through the line for a 42-yard run down to the Panthers’ 35-yard line. After a holding penalty, Krueger hit Carper for a 15-yard pass. On third-and-nine, Krueger found Ryan Baumgartner for a 34-yard touchdown pass with 8:46 left in the first quarter. The two-point conversion failed leaving the Dragons out in front 6-0. They held the lead the rest of the game.
The Dragon kickoff was bobbled by the Panther returner and Holyoke was able to pin Peyton down at the 15-yard line.
The Panthers were able to move the ball to midfield before Pelle captured his first of three interceptions on the night.
The Dragons were unable to produce much on the ensuing drive after a couple of penalties and incomplete passes. On fourth down, Trumper called a reverse which was snuffed out by the Panther defenders.
Peyton took over but again was unable to move the ball. After a three and out, they were forced to punt. Holyoke managed one play before the first quarter ended.
After a short run and an incomplete pass the Dragons were forced to punt. Jaydin Goldenstein had a nice punt pinning the Panthers at the 21.
Two plays later, Pelle grabbed number two out of the air giving Holyoke great field position at the 22-yard line.
Krueger was unable to connect with receivers and on fourth-and-10 found Carper for a 12-yard gain. After a broken play, Krueger was sacked for a one-yard loss. and after a holding penalty, Krueger again found Carper, this time for a gain of 20. On the next play, Krueger hit Parker Redfern for a five-yard touchdown pass. Again, the two-point conversion failed leaving the scoreboard reading 12-0 in Holyoke’s favor.
Peyton found paydirt on the ensuing kick off when Bryant Thomas took the ball at the 22-yard line and went untouched up the field for a 78-yard touchdown return with just under seven minutes left in the half.
It looked as if Holyoke was going to answer the Panther score. Krueger hit Baumgartner for a 23-yard gain and Pelle tacked on a 10-yard run but two incomplete passes and an intentional grounding call stalled the drive and the Dragons were forced to punt it away.
Four plays later Pelle shocked the crowd and sideline with his third pick of the night. He took it down to the seven-yard line. The Dragons were unable to push the ball into the end zone and turned it over on downs.
The Dragon defense stiffened holding the Panthers to a three and out and forcing them to punt.
Holyoke had great field position at the 35-yard line but again couldn’t get anything going, turning over the ball on downs.
With 1:07 left on the clock Carper picked off the Panther quarterback taking the ball down to the 27-yard line. Pelle added another 10-yard run, Krueger found Baumgartner for a three-yard pass and Carper for a two-yard pass before connecting with Carper again for the 12-yard touchdown with just 14 seconds left in the half. Krueger hit Pelle for the two-point conversion and the 20-7 lead.
Peyton took the field and returned the Dragon kickoff to the 42-yard line. After runs of five, 16, three and four yards the Panthers sat at the Dragon 24-yard line. The Holyoke defense held Peyton on fourth down taking over possession. A three-and-out for the Dragons gave the ball right back to the Panthers.
Again, Peyton couldn’t get anything going. With just over six minutes left in the third quarter, Krueger intercepted the ball and returned it to the Panther 34-yard line. On third-and-12, Krueger connected with Brett Cumming and in the process, Peyton was flagged for roughing the passer moving the ball all the way down to the 13-yard line. On fourth-and-12 Krueger found Carper for the touchdown. The two-point conversion failed. Holyoke led 26-7.
Peyton had no luck on their next possession turning the ball over on downs. With five seconds left in the third quarter, Krueger hit Carper again, this time for a 45-yard touchdown pass extending the Dragon lead, 34-7.
Peyton went three-and-out, punting the ball back to Holyoke. Two plays later, Krueger fumbled giving the ball back to the Panthers at the Dragon 20-yard line.
It looked as if Peyton was going to narrow the lead but a fumble in the end zone proved costly and Holyoke jumped on it for a touchback.
Holyoke went three-and-out and was forced to punt the ball back to the Panthers. Goldenstein’s punt was downed at the Dragon 36-yard line. Peyton was able to grab runs of 22 and four yards moving the ball to the 10-yard line. Francisco Diaz was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct moving the ball down to the four-yard line. Three plays later, Peyton punched the ball in for a touchdown with 4:40 left in the game.
Holyoke answered the Panther touchdown with one of their own on the next drive. Cumming took the ball and busted off a 66-yard run. Peyton was flagged for a horse collar tackle moving the ball down to the three-yard line. Two plays later, quarterback Reid Baumgartner found Diaz for the touchdown extending the Dragon lead to 40-14.
Peyton got the running game going again on their next drive taking it down the field for their final score of the night. The scoreboard read 40-21 in favor of the Dragons.
Holyoke coughed up the ball on their final possession with 21 seconds left.
Trumper said there are still things on offense they need to work on. He also said with the six turnovers, there were some points they could’ve scored and didn’t.
On Friday, Holyoke will travel to Burlington to take on the Cougars. Burlington sits at 2-1 after wins over Lamar and Wray. Akron handed the Cougars their only loss last week. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
Big, strong and physical, that’s how Trumper describes the Cougars. “They are going to be run oriented with an option attack,” he said. “They’re an aggressive and physical team.”
Other North Central action
Other North Central Conference teams played Friday, Sept. 18, all picking up non-conference wins.
Akron got by Holyoke’s next opponent, Burlington 24-21, Yuma shut out University 54-0, Highland beat Estes Park 49-16, Wray rolled past Manual 48-6 and Wiggins won easily over Lutheran 46-19.