|Dragons face Yuma next|
|Written by Chris Lee|
A cold night on the third home game of the season for the Holyoke football team proved to be another tough match up as the Akron Rams visited Max Bernard Field. After the first half of play, the Rams led 49-0 which would end up being the final score of the game.
Akron came in riding a 43-game winning streak and three consecutive state championships. It didn’t take them long to score and score often as they found the end zone on each of their first half drives.
Coach Rod Trumper said he was a little disappointed in how Holyoke came out and played. “When you play an Akron team you’re going to have to be physical,” he said. For the most part he thought they were but there were times where they weren’t stepping up to go and get them. “As a coaching staff we’re focussing on getting kids to get after it and get physical. When you play in this conference, you have to be physical.”
Ram defense holds Dragons scoreless
After losing the toss, the Dragons had the first chance as Akron deferred to the second half. Three runs by Brett Cumming were unable to move the sticks and Holyoke was forced to punt. After a break away run on their first play, down to the 10-yard line, the Rams were able to punch in the next run for their first of seven touchdowns.
It was another three and out for the Dragons on their next possession as they couldn’t get the run game established against Akron’s defense. The Rams began their drive at their own 40-yard line after the Holyoke punt. With their strong running game they were able to move the ball down to the Dragon 15-yard line before connecting for a 15-yard touchdown pass increasing their lead 14-0.
Broc Pelle had a nice return on the kick off taking it out to the 30-yard line. After a short pass to Kyle Carper, Akron was flagged for holding giving the Dragons a first down at their 40. The Rams were flagged again, this time for lining up offside. Logan Krueger’s pass for Parker Redfern was incomplete and on the next play the hand off was bobbled and Akron was able to recover the fumble.
Six plays later, Akron managed a touchdown for a third time on a one-yard run up the middle. The ensuing kick off sailed out of bounds giving the Dragons decent field position at the 35-yard line.
With about a minute left in the first quarter, the Dragons began what would end up being their longest and best looking drive of the night. After a failed pass play and a pitch to Carper, Krueger found Ryan Baumgartner for a gain of nine yards. Holyoke went for it on fourth-and-one and Cumming was able to gain three yards and the first down.
Pelle busted off three consecutive runs to give the Dragons another first down. Krueger completed a nice pass to Carper for a gain of 29 yards down to the 11-yard line. After runs by Pelle and Cumming for no gain, Krueger’s pass was picked off in the end zone and returned out to the 43-yard line. Holyoke’s coaching staff argued a no call as it appeared Akron tackled Carper while the ball was in the air.
With 7:27 left in the half, the Rams punched in another touchdown after only six plays. Their lead grew to 28-0.
Another three and out faced Holyoke and they were forced to punt. Akron took the ball and produced a long drive where they converted a fourth down and combined both the run and pass on their way to another touchdown. With 2:52 left in the half they held a 35-0 lead.
Holyoke again couldn’t find any way to get around the Rams’ defense going three and out. After the punt and 0:44 showing on the clock, Akron lined up near mid-field. Running back Jourdan Hottinger took the snap and ran right through the heart of the Dragon defense on his way to the end zone.
Pelle returned the ensuing kick off to the 25-yard line. With 21 seconds left in the half and on the first play of the drive, the Holyoke pass was intercepted and returned for a touchdown extending the Ram lead to 49-0.
That would prove to be the final score of the game. However there was still an entire half of football to be played.
A fired up Holyoke team came out of the locker room and ran through the tunnel of fans. The game clock was forced to run with-out stopping except for time outs and injuries.
The Dragons kicked off to Akron. With substitutes taking the field for each team, Holyoke was able to drive the Rams backwards and force them to punt for the first time in the game.
Cumming began the drive with a long 32-yard run up the right side. The excitement was short lived as his next run only went for one yard. Reid Baumgartner’s next pass went incomplete and another Cumming run was stopped short forcing the fourth down play. Baumgartner’s fourth down pass was intercepted, ending the drive.
The Akron drive ended after they were forced to punt. Holyoke took over after a short punt at the Rams’ 47-yard line. Runs by Cumming, Pelle and Jaydin Goldenstein were stopped shy of the first down marker, On fourth-and-four Cumming took the hand off and was unable to get the first down, turning the ball over on downs.
The Rams were able to achieve a couple of first downs on their next possession but again the Holyoke defense stiffened and stopped a fourth down play.
With the clock rapidly ticking down, Holyoke didn’t have much time for another drive. Pelle and Goldenstein combined for three runs and a first down but the clock ran out, ending the game.
Holyoke dropped to 1-4 with the loss and will travel to Yuma on Friday, Oct. 9 to face the Indians. Trumper said Yuma will be another big, strong and physical team who likes to run the ball a lot. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
Other North Central action
Other North Central Conference teams played Friday, Oct. 2, kicking off conference play.
Yuma flew by Wiggins 46-0 and Wray shut out Highland 27-0.