Longhorns overwhelm Southwestern Heights behind Palacios’ 4 TDs

Courtesy of Kirk Hutchinson
Kismet, Kan. (westernkansasnews.com)–The Holcomb Longhorns overwhelmed the Southwestern Heights Mustangs 58–7 Friday night, dominating the game both offensively and defensively.

The Longhorns started every offensive series on the Mustang side of the 50 in the 1st half, stampeding to a 46–0 halftime lead.

SW Heights coach Matt Bell tried to spark his team on the game’s opening series, going for a 4th down conversion on his own 27, but a Brayan Ramirez pass fell incomplete, and Holcomb took over deep in Mustang territory. Two running plays put the Longhorns in the end zone, with the touchdown coming on a jet sweep for 10 yards from Chris Palacios. It was the first of 4 TDs on the night for Palacios. He also added the extra point for a 7–0 lead.

The Mustangs fumbled two plays later with Holcomb’s Javin Farr recovering to set up the Longhorns at the SW Heights 21. Three plays later, Khai Cosner darted into the end zone from 5 yards out and it was 14–0 less than halfway through the opening quarter.

On the second play of the next Mustang series, Palacios picked off a Ramirez pass and returned it to the Heights 29. After an incomplete pass and a false start penalty, Manny Reyes raced 34 yards for the TD to make the score 20–0 in favor of the visitors.

On SW Heights’ very next play, Palacios picked off another pass and rolled 35 yards to the end zone. His extra point gave Holcomb a 27–0 lead with 4:55 still remaining in the quarter.

SW Heights quickly moved to its own 45 yard line on the next series, but stalled there and failed again to convert a 4th down. The Mustang 45 was Holcomb’s worst field position in the 1st half. Two plays later Tristan Ortner fumbled inside the Mustang 10 for Holcomb’s only turnover of the night.

The Mustangs would go three-and-out and a short punt set up the Longhorns at the Mustang 36. Four plays later, Damon Mesa hit Palacios with a 21-yard TD pass and the extra point made it 34–0, still in the 1st quarter.

On the first play of the 2nd quarter, Davin Hernandez intercepted a Ramirez pass and raced to the Mustang 10. A running play put the Longhorns at the 1, but a bad snap sailed over Mesa’s head and the Longhorns’ Cosner raced back to cover the ball at the 32. The 31-yard loss just set up the game’s most spectacular play, as Mesa hit Palacios who made a spectacular touchdown catch in the back of the end zone for a 40–0 lead. Chris Palacios finished the night with two catches for 53 yards and two TDs, one rushing TD on his only rush, two interceptions and a pick-six, all in the 1st half.

The Longhorn defense forced another three-and-out and another short punt set Holcomb up at Mustang 41. Eight plays later, Keegan Johnson hit Davin Hernandez with a 15-yard TD pass and Holcomb took a 46–0 lead to the locker room.

The 2nd half featured a running clock and few possessions. Holcomb took the 2nd half kick and after the return put the Longhorns at the Mustang 49, Keegan Johnson led the offense on a 5-play drive, finishing it off with a 10-yard TD run. That made the score 52–0.

Jehret Harrell would end Holcomb’s scoring with a pick-six, intercepting a pass at the Mustang 36 and racing to paydirt. That upped the lead to 58–0.

SWs Heights would score on the last possession of the night, driving 64 yards in 9 plays, as Ramirez raced in from 7 yards out. The extra point made the final score 58–7 in favor of Holcomb.

The Longhorns improve to 7–1 and Southwestern Heights drops to 2–6 on the season.

Despite playing with a short field all night, Holcomb racked up 266 total yards, 215 on the ground, scoring 7 TDs on offense and 2 more on defense. In addition to his four touchdowns, Chris Palacios hit four out of seven extra point attempts.

With the second seed in district play, Holcomb will host Pratt this Friday in the opening round of the playoffs.