June 13, 2024

Holcomb remains unbeaten

For the first time this football season, the Holcomb Longhorns found themselves behind on the scoreboard, trailing 13-0 early in the second quarter. But the Longhorns answered the challenge, picking up touchdowns in the second and third quarters and then taking the lead and pulling away for a 27-13 road win in the Great West Activities Conference.

Things started well for Holcomb as Brandon Stegman picked off Colby’s Zach Hart on the third play of the game. It was Stegman’s 4th INT of the year. But the penalties that have plagued the Longhorns all year reared their ugly head again, with a chop block penalty and a false start immediately pushing Holcomb back 20 yards. The Longhorns would end up with 16 penalties on the night, 10 in the first half, continually putting the offense in long yardage holes.

Colby would start its second possession at its own 46 and the Eagles then marched 54 yards in 14 plays with Jordan Schippers diving in from one yard out and the Longhorns trailed for the first time this season. The PAT gave Colby a 7-0 lead with just over two minutes to play in the opening quarter.

Holcomb’s next possession lasted just two plays, with Calvin Stapp picking off a Trey Gilbert pass, the 5th INT Gilbert has thrown this year, and Colby had a first down at the Longhorn 43. This time it took six plays with Donte Whitfield scoring from 5 yards out and Colby led 13-0 with 11:30 to play in the first half. After Carter Blackburn returned the kickoff to the Colby 48, Dillon Williams ripped off runs of 26 and 17 yards to give the Longhorns a first down at the Eagle 5. But after gaining just a yard on three plays and then getting another false start called, the Longhorns faced fourth-and-goal at the nine. Chance Rodriguez took a pass in the flat and just managed to sneak the football over the goal line at the front pylon and with the extra point, the Longhorns would go to halftime trailing 13-7.

Holcomb would tie the game in the third quarter, with Conner Van Cleave making two big catches. The first was a 33-yard catch-and-run down to the Colby 17. Three plays later, Van Cleave caught a 15-yard TD pass and the game was tied at 13. Colby had a golden opportunity to re-take the lead when Dillon Williams fumbled on Holcomb’s next possession, giving the Eagles the ball at the Longhorns’ 45. But the defense made what might have been the key stop of the night, despite giving up a first down on a pass interference penalty, forcing Colby to try a 43 yard field goal early in the final quarter. The Longhorns blocked the kick, keeping the game tied.

Holcomb went three-and-out, but Alex Ortega picked off Hart on Colby’s next possession, setting the Longhorns up at the Eagle 39. Six plays later, Van Cleave caught a deflected pass and while juggling the ball, back-pedaled into the end zone for the lead. The two-point conversion made it 21-13 Holcomb.

After Colby went three-and-out, Holcomb then marched 52 yards in 10 plays with Brandon Stegman rushing in from 3 yards out to make it 27-13. Stegman would then recover a Jordan Schippers fumble with less than a minute to play and the Longhorns ran out the clock for their 5th victory of the year. Colby drops to 3-2 and 1-2 in league play, while Holcomb sits atop the GWAC at 4-0.

Holcomb steps out of league play next Friday, traveling to Lakin. Catch all the action of the undefeated Longhorns beginning at 6:30 with the pregame followed by the kickoff at 7:00 on AM 1030 KBUF.