March 4, 2024

Longhorns corral the Cowboys

By Kirk Kutchinson
Holcomb, Kan. (–Behind a stingy defense and several big plays on offense, the Holcomb Longhorns shut out the Goodland Cowboys on Friday night 25-0.

The first big play of the night belonged to Goodland. After the Longhorns punted on the games opening series, the Cowboys started from their own 15 yard line, and drove to the Holcomb 34, thanks to a fake punt that Brysun Waters turned into a 35-yard run and a first down. But the Longhorn defense held and the Cowboys turned it over on downs.

It took Holcomb three plays to score, with Khai Cosner racing 56 yards for a touchdown. The Longhorns couldn’t convert the two-point conversion and led 6-0, with 2:50 left in the opening quarter.

Holcomb would get the ball back on its 21 after forcing Goodland three-and-out. A 49-yard run by Manny Reyes on first down put the Longhorns at the Cowboy 30, and Damon Mesa would finish off the drive six plays later with a seven-yard touchdown run. Holcomb again failed to convert and it was 12-0 with 10:21 to go in the second quarter.

The defense forced another three-and-out and the Longhorns got the ball back on their 41. Damon Mesa capped a six-play drive with a 34-yard touchdown pass to Ethan Kennis. Manny Anguiano booted the extra point, and Holcomb took a 19-0 lead into the locker room at halftime. 

Goodland opened the second half with a drive to the Holcomb 24, but Chris Palacios picked off a Mason Hernandez pass in the end zone to end the threat. The Longhorns would end the ensuing drive with a punt. Starting at their own 17 yard line, the Cowboys drove to the Longhorn 47, but failed to pick up a first down on fourth and two.

Again, Holcomb’s drive would stall and the Longhorns would punt it away. After a Goodland punt, the Longhorns got the ball back on their 24 with 7:42 remaining in the game. On the first play of the drive, Mesa scampered 76 yards for his second touchdown of the night, and Holcomb led 25-0. 

The Longhorns allowed the Cowboys just 12 yards on their next two possessions to put the game away. One last Holcomb drive into Goodland territory was stopped when a Damon Mesa pass was picked off in the end zone.

Mesa finished the night with 105 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 13 carries. He also had a catch for 23 yards and completed two of five passes for 42 yards, with a touchdown and interception. Overall, Holcomb had 364 yards of total offense, with 265 yards coming on the ground and 99 yards through the air. Goodland only managed 144 total yards, 82 on the ground and 62 yards through the air. Each team had one turnover.

The Longhorns improve to 4-0 on the season, 1-0 in district play, and travel to Colby for their next game.