|Last regular season game next as Dragons face Wiggins|
|Written by Chris Lee|
Holyoke faced another tough football opponent in the Wray Eagles on Friday, Oct. 23 in the final home game of the season. Wray jumped out to an early lead while turnovers hurt the Dragons’ offense. The second half favored Holyoke but they were unable to come away with the win, losing 14-32.
Coach Rod Trumper said he was pleased with how the team came out in the second half. The young Holyoke team hung tough and managed to put up two scores in the second half and hold Wray to only one score. Trumper said they came out and did what the coaches were asking them to do.
Wray wins first half
Holyoke’s offense took the field first after Wray deferred to the second half. It was a quick three and out for the Dragons and after the punt Wray only needed five plays to take the early 7-0 lead.
Kyle Carper, who was noticeably affected by a sore knee, had a nice kickoff return to the 41 to set up the next drive. On third down, quarterback Logan Krueger connected with Carper for a first down, moving the ball into Eagle territory. The drive stalled after that with a holding penalty and some missed assignments.
Wray began at their own 15-yard line after Jaydin Goldenstein’s punt pinned them deep. The Eagles came out running and on the second play, Broc Pelle got through the line to stop the runner for a five yard loss. Wray was able to move the ball into Dragon territory and on third down Carper had a chance at an interception but came up just short. Wray was forced to punt giving possession back to the Dragons.
Holyoke’s offense was unable to move the ball going three and out. Wray got the ball back after a Goldenstein punt and managed to get four plays in before the first quarter ran out. Four plays later they punched in the second score of the night to go up 13-0.
With 9:22 left in the half, the Eagles managed to intercept a pass, giving them the ball at the Dragons’ 36-yard line. On the first play, Ryan Baumgartner went up with an Eagle receiver and it looked like he came down with the interception. But the referees called it a reception, giving Wray the ball. After a disputed penalty, Wray was given the ball at the 6-yard line and on the next play scored their third touchdown. The two-point conversion failed giving Wray the 19-0 lead.
Holyoke’s next possession would be a short one as Wray again was able to intercept a pass giving them the ball in Dragon territory.
Holyoke’s defense stiffened and two penalties against the Eagles gave the ball back to Holyoke.
The offense again had trouble and on fourth down, Goldenstein’s punt was blocked. Wray took over at the Dragon 15-yard line and punched in another touchdown a few plays later. The extra-point failed and the scoreboard read 25-0.
Holyoke again went three and out as the Wray defense had an answer for everything Holyoke threw at them.
On the Eagles’ first play, Carper went up and picked off the pass giving the Dragons great field position at the 24-yard line after Wray was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct.
With just under three minutes left in the half, Holyoke began a drive looking to put up points before halftime.
Krueger found Parker Redfern on second down for a nice pick up of 17 yards. After a bobbled snap on first down, Holyoke tried a trick play with Carper coming around the backside taking the ball from Krueger and attempting a pass but it fell incomplete in the end zone. With the clock running under a minute, the Dragons couldn’t get the ball in the end zone, turning it over on downs.
Holyoke controls second half
Wray got the ball to begin the second half and the Holyoke defense didn’t let anything get by. Two stopped runs and a short pass stalled the Eagle drive, giving the ball right back to Holyoke.
On first down, Krueger found Pelle for a 10-yard pass and a first down but on third down, Wray came up with another interception. It looked as if Carper had the reception but it was ruled an interception. It didn’t matter as two plays later, Brett Cumming intercepted a Wray pass, giving the ball right back to the Dragons.
Holyoke began with three runs by Cumming, Goldenstein and Krueger. On fourth and short Goldenstein picked up four yards and the first down. Wray was flagged for a personal foul on the next play, moving the ball down to the Eagle 35. Krueger pitched the ball to Pelle on the next play for another first down. Three plays later, Wray stripped the ball away from Holyoke, ending the drive.
The Dragon defense again held tough and on fourth down, Wray attempted a fake punt and converted but was flagged for an illegal block in the back. The punt set the Dragons up at the 33-yard line.
Pelle managed a 10-yard run followed by a long pass from Krueger to Carper, moving the ball clear down to the Eagle 21-yard line. On third down, Holyoke tried the same trick play and this time Carper hit Baumgartner at the one-yard line and a first down. Cumming took the handoff on the next play and scored the Dragons’ first touchdown of the night with 10:27 left in the game. Krueger scored the two-point conversion and Holyoke was on the board 8-25.
Wray answered the Dragon touchdown in a hurry needing only three plays. It would be their final score of the night, they led 32-8.
The teams traded possessions and on the final drive of the game, Holyoke was able to score another touchdown on a reverse to Carper. The drive consisted of 18 plays and the two-point conversion failed making the final score 32-14.
The Dragons will travel to Wiggins on Friday, Oct. 30 to face the 4-4 Tigers. Trumper said they should match up well against the Tigers who thumped Highland last week. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
Other North Central action
Other North Central Conference teams played Friday, Oct. 23.
Yuma won a close 17-14 game over Akron, ending the Rams’ 46-game win streak, and Wiggins beat Highland 41-14.
Junior varsity falls to Wray
Coach Trumper said it was a good J.V. game Monday, Oct. 26, but the Dragons fell short, 20-30. He said they ran into a good running back from Wray who broke loose for a couple of big plays.
Holyoke had one long play where the runner was stripped of the ball near the goal line. With 1:20 left in the game, Holyoke scored to bring it within two points at 20-22, but Wray was able to punch in one more score as the clock ran out to end the contest.