June 19, 2024

Holcomb Bounces Back, Pummels Pratt

(Courtesy of Kirk Hutchinson)

PRATT, Kan. — The Holcomb Longhorns rebounded from their first loss of the season, dumping the Pratt Greenbacks 35-22, in a game that was never as close as the final score.

The night started almost perfectly for the Longhorns, with Damon Mesa returning the opening kick-off to the Greenback 18. Holcomb moved to the 1-yard line, but a false start pushed the Longhorns back to the 6 on third-and-goal. That didn’t matter, as Kolby Johnson bounced in from the six to give Holcomb the lead less than two minutes into the game. Edgar Ramirez hit the first of five extra points on the night and it was 7-0.

A Greenback punt on the next possession pinned the Longhorns on their own 10-yard line, but the offense quickly overcame that. After picking up a couple of first downs, Holcomb went long, with Kaden Johnson finding Levi Knoll for a 64-yard touchdown pass. Following the PAT, Holcomb led 14-0 with just over five minutes still remaining in the 1st quarter.

Disaster struck for Pratt on the ensuing kickoff, as the Greenbacks fumbled the return and Holcomb pounced on the ball at the Greenback 31. Six plays later, Kolby Johnson pushed in from the two and the Longhorns had a three-touchdown lead in the opening quarter. Johnson would finish the night with 65 yards on 17 carries and two TDs.

Pratt’s do-everything player, Devon Weber, would show off his skills on the next series, racing 55 yards for the Greenbacks’ first score on the final play of the 1st quarter.

Holcomb would punt on the next series and momentum seemed to be shifting to Pratt, but Enoch Walton had the ball stripped on a carry near midfield, and Cooper Henson scooped it up and returned it to the Pratt 20.

Damon Mesa would score on the next play and Holcomb was back up by three touchdowns, 28-7.

After another Greenback punt, the Longhorns took over on their 40 and Kaden Johnson immediately connected with Levi Knoll for a 60-yard TD, pushing the lead to 35-7, midway through the 2nd quarter. Johnson was perfect on his first seven passes of the night. Knoll finished the night with eight catches for 173 yards and two TDs.

Holcomb forced another punt, but a miscue by the return team gave Pratt the ball at the Longhorn seven, following a muffed punt. Weber would score on the second play to draw back within three touchdowns.

The Longhorns quickly drove into Greenback territory, but Johnson was picked off by Jesus Acosta at the 10 and Pratt ran out the clock. Holcomb led 35-14 at halftime.

Overall, Coach Teeter was pleased with the opening 24 minutes. “What a great first half for us. Playing the 1st half like we did was huge for us.”

Pratt tried to make a game of it, with a good drive to start the second half, but the Longhorns recovered a Weber fumble at the their own seven to turn the Greenbacks away. Holcomb drove to the Pratt 24, but turned the ball over on downs.

After that, the defenses controlled the game, with the two teams trading seven punts and Pratt turning it over on downs once. The Greenbacks closed out the game with a touchdown on the final play, as Weber hit Walton for a 17-yard TD. The two-point conversion made the final score Holcomb 35 Pratt 22.

“Our defense stepped up big and really played great throughout the whole game,” Teeter said.

Devon Weber was responsible for 228 yards of Pratt’s 289 total yards, rushing for 123 and two TDs and passing for 105 yards and one TD.

Holcomb rolled up 361 total yards, 262 of that in the 1st half, with 207 yards through the air and 154 yards on the ground.

“Our kids did a great job and a great win for us. We took care of business and we took care of business in the 1st half mostly, a fun night for us,” Teeter concluded.

The Longhorns improve to 6-1, 3-1 in district play, while the Greenbacks fall to 3-4, 1-3 in the district. Pratt is scheduled to close out district play at Nickerson, while Holcomb will host Hugoton to end the regular season. The Longhorns are firmly entrenched in second place in the district and will be hosting a first-round playoff game.

You can hear the Holcomb-Hugoton game Friday night on KBUF 1030 AM, with pregame beginning at 6:30.