May 29, 2024

Holcomb squares off with Clearwater in 4A playoffs

Longhorn head coach Kent Teeter has mixed outdoor practices with plenty of indoor time this week, as the team prepares for its sectional round playoff match-up against the Clearwater Indians. Game time temperatures on Friday are expected to be near freezing and getting colder.

Clearwater is 4-6 and coming off a 14-7 upset over Wamego in the opening round. Consider those 6 losses deceiving, as 5 of them came against playoff teams, four of whom are still playing: 3A powers, Scott City and Wichita Collegiate, who face off this Saturday; Mulvane, which upset McPherson last week in 4A, Division I; and the top-ranked team in 4A, Division II, Andale.

The Indians feature a dual threat quarterback, Hunter Hall, a 6’4” 220-pounder, who forces you to gang tackle him and can throw deep when it opens up. Defensively, they’re anchored by middle linebacker Landon Smith who, at times, seems like a one-man wrecking crew.

Holcomb, coming off a 35-6 opening round romp over Colby, should be at full strength, with seniors Dalton Gottschalk and Erich Eisenbise back in the lineup after sitting out a couple of games. The 9-1 Longhorns rely on a balanced attack, averaging 181 yards passing and 187 yards rushing a game. They also come at opponents with multiple weapons, as 6 receivers have double digit receptions this year and 3 different players—Braden Showalter, Christian Merz and Brandon Stegman–have caught 5 TD passes apiece. Quarterback Trey Teeter has thrown for 20 touchdowns against 6 interceptions. The 3-pronged running game features Blake Richmeier and Dillon Williams, along with Stegman, each with more than 400 yards rushing this season.

Kick-off Friday from Clearwater is set for 6:00, with the pregame show starting at 5:30 on AM 1030 KBUF.