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Improbable comeback ends Dragons’ playoff hopes PDF Print E-mail
Written by Kyle Arnoldy   

When the clock on the scoreboard reached zeros at Max Bernard Field Friday night, Oct. 25, Dragon football players were left consoling one another as Wray celebrated a playoff berth with the 38-37 Eagle victory.

Coming into the game, both squads needed the win to claim the third seed in the 1A North Central standings to move on to the playoffs. Holyoke’s loss eliminated them from the playoff hunt with a 5-4 overall record, 3-3 in league play.

Logan Tharp, pictured at left, and Andrew Kent, at right, team up to make a defensive stop near their goal line in the first quarter of Friday’s home game with Wray.  

—Enterprise photo

What started off as a defensive showdown in the first half quickly turned into a shootout to end the match.

“We played great at times, but we gave up too many big plays,” coach John Zilla said. “After scoring, you can’t give up long pass plays and kick returns for touchdowns.”

After the match opened with a pair of punts by each team, Wray blocked a Dragon punt to gain possession at Holyoke’s 7-yard line. The Eagles drew first blood with a quarterback sneak for a touchdown more than halfway through the first quarter. A bad snap on the PAT prevented the Eagles from tacking on another point as they went up 6-0.

Starting on their own 35-yard line, the Dragons moved down the field with the help of two Wray penalties and aggressive running by running backs Bradley Cumming and Dylan Kotch.

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Holyoke Enterprise October 31, 2013