May 27, 2024

Colby squeaks by Holcomb

The Holcomb Longhorns and Colby Eagles battled back-and-forth Friday night, with both offenses racking up yards and points, before Colby finally turned Holcomb away late and ran out the clock for a 38-34 victory.

The Longhorns ran and passed for 347 yards, 217 through the air, as Peyton Ortner threw three touchdown passes, two to River Amos. Ortner also rushed for 106 yards and two TDs. But Colby rolled up 425 total yards, 378 of that on the ground, including 128 rushing yards and two TDs from Isaac Rosales, who also caught a TD pass. Two other Eagles rushed for at least 90 yards.

Holcomb took the early lead, taking advantage of a Colby fumble and driving 55 yards in 9 plays with Ortner completing an 11 yard TD pass to Amos. It was the first TD pass of the season for the Longhorns. Edgar Ramirez added the extra point for a 7-0 1st quarter lead.

Colby then drove to the Longhorn 15, but was turned away on downs. Holcomb would punt the ball away after their only three-and-out of the night. The Eagles responded with a 51-yard, 6 play drive, that ended with Rosales scooting in from seven yards out. Hagan Booi added the two-point conversion and Colby led 8-7 midway through the 2nd quarter.

The play of the 1st half happened next and it wasn’t good for Holcomb. The Longhorns fumbled the kick-off and the Eagles recovered on the Holcomb 34 yard line. On the next play, Rosales raced 34 yards for the TD and Colby was up 14-7, scoring two touchdowns in less than 20 seconds.

Holcomb responded with an 11 play, 53 yard drive, capped by Ortner’s four yard TD run, and Ramirez’ extra point tied the game at 14 with 1:33 to play in the 1st half. Colby made good use of that time, racing 65 yards in 5 plays, with quarterback Jordan Schippers scampering 33 yards for the TD with 28 seconds left in the half. Schippers would finish the night with 95 yards rushing, 1 rushing TD, 1 passing TD, and a fumble. The 2-point conversion gave Colby a 22-14 halftime lead.

Holcomb opened the 2nd half with a 7 play, 51 yard drive, capped by Ortner’s 24 yard TD run. The two-point conversion failed and Holcomb trailed 22-20 early in the 3rd quarter.

Colby quickly started marching down the field, but the Longhorn defense rose up and stuffed the Eagles on fourth-and-one near midfield to get the ball back. Starting at the Colby 47, Holcomb took 8 plays to score with Ortner hitting Amos from 13 yards out for their second TD connection of the night. This time the Longhorns’ two-point attempt succeeded and Holcomb led 28-22 midway through the 3rd quarter.

The Eagles responded with an impressive 73 yard drive that ate up the final 5:10 of the 3rd quarter and the first 49 seconds of the 4th, with Schippers connecting with Rosales on a 4th down screen pass at the Holcomb 15. With the 2-point play, Colby regained the lead 30-28.

The Longhorns came right back. Jayson Lambert returned the kick-off to the Eagle 49 and five plays later, Ortner hit Jacob Henson for an 18-yard touchdown. Again, Holcomb failed to convert a 2-point attempt, but still led 34-30.

But the Eagles rumbled back down the field, covering 70 yards in 9 plays, with Calvin Stapp, who rushed for 90 yards overall, scoring from 13 yards out. The 2-point conversion made it 38-34, Colby.

The Longhorns weren’t done, using both the pass and the run to drive to the Eagle 27. Along the way, Holcomb converted two 4th downs. But on a 1st-and-10 from the Colby 27, Ortner was sacked by Booi on a delayed blitz as the clock went under a minute. Three pass attempts fell incomplete and the Eagles took a knee on the game’s final play.

In addition to being Holcomb’s leading rusher, Peyton Ortner was 22 out of 35 passing for 217 yards, with River Amos hauling in 10 passes for 91 yards and two TDs. Jacob Henson caught 4 passes for 73 yards and a TD; Caleb Clumsky caught 6 passes for 51 yards, including a big 4th-down catch late in the game.

It’s Colby’s first win over Holcomb since 2010, with the Longhorns having beaten the Eagles nine straight times since then, including two wins last year. Colby improves to 3-0 on the season and will begin district play next week at Beloit.

The Longhorns are now 1-2 and will start district play Friday night at Nickerson. The Panthers are 0-3. Pregame starts at 6:30 with kickoff at 7:00 on 1030 AM KBUF.