May 27, 2024

Holcomb upends unbeaten Pratt

In 2016, the Pratt Greenbacks ended Holcomb’s unbeaten season and 16-game winning streak. In 2017, the Holcomb Longhorns returned the favor, halting Pratt’s 15-game winning streak, with a 19-14 come-from-behind win over the reigning state champions.

Pratt came in unbeaten and averaging more than 42 points a game, while Holcomb came in having shut out its last three opponents and giving up just 8 points a game.

Both teams moved the ball, but missed scoring opportunities. Holcomb opened the game driving to the Pratt 9, but stalled and missed a 26-yard field goal. Pratt’s first drive ended with a fumble in Holcomb territory.

The Greenbacks scored first, with their star running back Travis Theis pushing in from 2 yards out early in the 2nd quarter. After the PAT, Pratt led 7-0. Theis who came in averaging more than 200 yards rushing a game, finished the night with 161 yards, 1 TD and a fumble.

After a Holcomb punt, Pratt threatened again, driving to the Longhorn 26 before Derek Roadhouse fumbled and Holcomb took over at its own 29. The Longhorns drove 71 yards in 6 plays, finishing with a 14-yard pass from Trey Gilbert to Carter Blackburn. Chance Rodriguez added the PAT and the game was tied at 7, with 1:36 to play in the 1st half.

Holcomb held Pratt to a three-and-out and got the ball back on its 37, with 41 seconds remaining. Two pass completions and a penalty put the Longhorns at the Greenback 18 with 20 seconds to play and Gilbert hit Andrew Morss for the go-ahead touchdown. The PAT was no good and Holcomb led 13-7 at halftime.

Pratt regained the lead late in the 3rd quarter, when quarterback Landen Studer sprinted 43 yards and the Greenbacks led 14-13 after the PAT. Holcomb responded by driving to the Pratt 5 yard line, but a fourth-down pass fell incomplete and the Longhorns still trailed with less than 10 minutes to play.

The play of the game came when Pratt had to punt from its 14, but a bad snap got away from the punter who recovered it and got tackled at the one, turning the ball over to Holcomb.

The Longhorns almost squandered the opportunity, losing 4 yards on the first play, throwing an incomplete pass and then losing 3 yards on the next play. But on fourth-and-eight, Gilbert found Chance Rodriguez in the end zone and Holcomb led 19-14. Gilbert finished the night with 3 TD passes on 15 completions for 222 yards. A two-point conversion attempt failed.

Pratt returned the ensuing kick-off to the 49 and advanced to the Holcomb 35, but two incomplete passes ended the threat. The Longhorns tried to run out the clock, driving deep into Pratt territory before turning the ball over on downs at the Greenback 25 with just nine seconds to play. On the game’s final play, Pratt tried lateraling the ball back and forth, but eventually fumbled with Damon Kepley recovering it on the Greenback 20 to end the game.

Pratt is now 7-1 and will finish district play against Kingman, which beat Hugoton 10-6. With victories over both Pratt and Kingman, Holcomb, 7-1, 2-0 in district play, is guaranteed to win the district and will close the regular season at Hugoton.