|Yuma proves tough, Dragons set to travel to Highland|
|Written by Chris Lee|
On a windy, rainy and snowy night, the Holyoke Dragon football team traveled to Yuma to face yet another tough conference foe. Yuma jumped out to a big lead early, winning the contest 49-6.
The game pitted the Dragons against a third straight team that has a legitimate shot at winning a state title.
Coach Rod Trumper said Yuma’s starting lineup consisted of mainly seniors compared to the Dragons’ younger team. “We’re playing hard,” he said. “We’re doing good things at times. We just need to be more consistent.”
Indians control game
Holyoke began the game by kicking off to Yuma. Trumper opted for an on-side squib kick but Yuma wasn’t fooled as they recovered the ball at midfield to begin the game.
Two runs later the Indians put the first six points on the board. With just over 11 minutes left in the first quarter, Yuma made the extra point to take the early 7-0 lead.
The Dragons began their opening drive on their own 30-yard line. The offense couldn’t get anything going against a tough and physical Yuma defense and was forced to punt. Mark Gertner booted a 65-yard punt pinning the Indians down at their five yard line.
The Dragon defense held the Indians to two short runs forcing a third and long. On the third down play, Yuma found an open hole and broke loose for a big gain and a first down. The Indians put together a long drive keeping the ball on the ground on their way to a second touchdown, extending their lead, 14-0 with 4:17 left in the quarter.
After a squib kick, the Dragon offense began with great field position at their own 47. In the power-I formation, Jaydin Goldenstein began the drive with a two-yard run followed by a quarterback keeper where Logan Krueger broke loose taking the ball down to the Indian 40-yard line for a first down. With the momentum, the Dragons moved the ball five more yards on runs by Broc Pelle and Brett Cumming. The drive stalled on fourth down as the offense came up just short of the first down, giving the ball back to the Indians.
With the first quarter coming to an end, Yuma managed to move the ball down to the Dragon 25-yard line. The second quarter began with a 10-yard run by Yuma. On second down, the Indians tried an option play but Carper sniffed it out, stopping the play for no gain at the nine yard line. The Indians were able to push into the end zone a few plays later to take the 21-0 lead with 9:44 left in the half.
The Yuma defense gave the Dragon offense trouble as Holyoke was unable to move the ball and was forced to punt. On the first play, Yuma found running back Joel Rhodes open on a pass play and he went 55 yards for the touchdown. It was Rhodes’ fourth touchdown of the game. He finished the game with five.
Yuma went on to score two more times before the half as the Dragons were unable to find anything to get by the Indian defense. Yuma led 42-0 at halftime. The clock would run continuously in the second half and only stop for time outs and injuries due to the score.
The Dragons’ opening drive of the second half showed promise as they were able to move the ball with runs by Pelle, Cumming and Goldenstein. Krueger connected with Parker Redfern for a nice 15-yard pickup followed by a Goldenstein run into Indian territory. Yuma’s defense stiffened, pushing Holyoke backwards. On fourth and 18 from the 44-yard line, the pass was batted down at the line of scrimmage.
With the clock running down Yuma took the ball and moved it down the field into Dragon territory for their seventh and final score of the game.
Holyoke didn’t quit and was able to find pay dirt on their final possession of the game. Carper returned the kickoff to the 34-yard line. Runs by Pelle and Cumming moved the ball to the 40 and on fourth-and-three Goldenstein lowered his shoulders and picked up the first down. Krueger hit Carper for an 11-yard gain on the first down play. Goldenstein and Pelle combined for a couple of runs before Krueger found Ryan Baumgartner for a nice gain. Yuma was flagged for roughing the passer, giving the Dragons the ball at the 14-yard line.
With three minutes left in the game, Holyoke tried a play that was seen in the season opener in Imperial, Neb., and this time it worked. Carper took the reverse 14 yards for the touchdown. The two-point conversion was unsuccessful and the scoreboard read 49-6.
Yuma ran the ball a couple of times on the final drive of the game running the clock down.
Trumper said the team continues to show the desire to get better. He mentioned they come out every practice and work hard.
Holyoke will travel to Ault to face Highland on Friday, Oct. 16. The Huskies opened the 2009 season with three straight wins but have gone on a three-game skid since. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
Trumper said the Huskies will be an option oriented team. “They’re a pretty solid team,” he added.
Krueger was 4 of 8 passing for 41 yards. Jaydin Goldenstein led the rushing with 40 yards on four carries. A run of 31 yards was his longest. Carper and Krueger each tacked on 14 yards while Pelle added one yard.
Baumgartner hauled in two passes for 16 yards, Redfern had one catch for 13 yards while Carper finished with one catch for 12 yards.
Krueger led the team in tackles with 14. Casey Sage finished with seven, Francisco Diaz and Pelle each had six, Luke Garrett and Cumming recorded four each while Redfern and Carper each had three. Astolfo Rojo had two tackles while Reid Baumgartner, Goldenstein and Gertner all finished with one tackle.
Gertner punted the ball four times with a long of 65 yards. He averaged 33 yards a punt. Goldenstein’s two kickoffs went for a combined 65 yards with a long of 50 yards.
Carper had four kickoff returns for 27 yards. Krueger and Pelle each had one return.
The Dragons finished with 100 yards of total offense.
Other North Central action
Other North Central Conference teams played Friday, Oct. 9.
Akron beat Highland 33-6 and Wray won against Wiggins 59-20.
JV blows out Akron
The junior varsity team traveled to Akron on Monday, Oct. 5 to face the Rams and came away with a convincing 30-6 win.
Trumper said the Dragons dominated both sides of the ball. Pelle scored two touchdowns with Goldenstein and Cumming each adding a touchdown. Holyoke converted three two-point conversions. Akron’s only score came on a kickoff return for a touchdown.
Holyoke played host to Yuma on Monday, Oct. 12 and was unable to come away with the win. They lost 20-14. The game went into overtime where the Indians were able to score and hold Holyoke out of the end zone.
The next action for the junior varsity will be on Monday, Oct. 26 at Wray.