Dragon Blake Mosenteen gains ground for the Dragons behind the blocking effort of Seth Watson in Holyoke’s 12-8 win over Bridgeport Friday, Sept. 1. Mosenteen led the HHS rushing stats with 140 yards in 22 carries and scored a touchdown in the season opener. — Johnson Publications
Dragon Trent Huffman (63) pulls down Bridgeport quarterback Drake DeMasters for a nice sack midway through the first quarter of Friday’s football opener. — Johnson Publications
Dragons hang on for 12-8 win over Bridgeport
Dragon defense defended the goal line in the final minute to save a 12-8 victory over the visiting Bridgeport, Nebraska, Bulldogs Friday, Sept. 1.
It was one of three key defensive plays by the Dragons that contributed to the victory in the season opener.
Another goal-line stand was successful in third-quarter action. And exchange student Marvin Canitz broke up a deep Bulldog pass and recovered the fumble in the Dragon end zone for a touchback three minutes before halftime.
Coach Dusty Sprague said the Dragons played their hearts out with great attitude and effort for a great start to the season.
It’s a young Dragon team this year, as Sprague pointed out that eight of the 11 offensive starters and seven of the 11 starting on defense had not played a full varsity game prior to Friday night’s ballgame.
“Hopefully this will be a year of a lot of firsts,” said Sprague, praising the team effort.
While penalties and turnovers are something to try to minimize, rarely can they be eliminated — especially in a first game of the season, noted Sprague.
“You just hope they don’t happen at inopportune times,” he added, noting that the mistakes give room for growth as team members learn from their errors.
Holyoke held a 12-0 lead after three quarters in the season opener, but Bridgeport scored early in the fourth to make it a four-point game.
The game clock was on 0:23 when the Bulldog offense lined up on the 1-yard line on a fourth down. It was the play for the win, and the Dragons held strong to take the game to the W column — 12-8.
First quarter saw back-and-forth action with a series of penalties against Holyoke including false start, illegal block, delay of game and personal foul. With just under five minutes remaining on the first-quarter clock, Blake Mosenteen had a 27-yard punt return to midfield, and Slaten Burris took a handoff for another first down.
However, penalties soon found the Dragons facing a fourth and 30. Bridgeport blocked the punt to line its offense up on the Dragon 20-yard line.
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