In an anticipated gridiron showdown, the Hoehne Farmers and Holly Wildcats collided in a top ten battle for first place in the Arkansas Valley 8-man Conference on Friday, Sept. 5 in Hoehne.
No. 3 ranked Hoehne trailed No. 8 Holly, 20-8, after the first quarter before the Farmers ripped off 46 unanswered points to rally for an impressive 54-20 victory. With the win, Hoehne is now in sole possession of first place with a 4-0 league record and 5-1 overall.
Every other team in the league has at least one loss.
Holly, Springfield, and McClave currently stand tied for second place with 2-1 records in league play.
"It was kind of scary at first," Hoehne head coach Gabe Dasko told the Colorado Preps Scoreboard Show after the game. "We made some defensive adjustments, and our kids kind of wore them down physically. Our kids are pretty physical.”
"I mean, we'd rather play football in a phone booth," Dasko continued. "They (Holly) kind of spread you out, and they put you in some tough situations."
Holly had Hoehne on the ropes as they Wildcats struck through the air for three TD strikes in the opening quarter.
Wildcats senior QB Kobe Davis connected with senior receiver Gus Dominguez for all three scores. Dominguez finished the game with four receptions for 145 yards.
Holly received the opening kickoff and scored in six plays. On fourth down and inches, Davis found Dominguez wide open for a 52-yard TD strike. A two-point conversion pass fell incomplete as the Wildcats led 6-0 with 9:22 on the clock.
Hoehne countered with a 33-yard TD run by its outstanding running back Trysten Moltrer. The 5-10, 170 senior finished the game with 159 yards on 15 carries and four TDs.
A two-point conversion run gave the Farmers an 8-6 lead with under six minutes left in the quarter.
With 2:52 showing, Holly regained the lead, 14-8, when Dominguez found the end zone on a nifty 17-yard screen pass. A two-point conversion run was good by Davis.
After a punt by Hoehne, the Wildcats struck again on a 40-yard TD aerial from Davis to Dominguez that made it 20-8 at the end of quarter.
From there, it went downhill for Holly as the defense for Hoehne made adjustments to hold the Wildcats off the scoreboard the remainder of the game.
In the second quarter, the Farmers scored 24 points to build a 32-20 lead at halftime.
Moltrer hit pay dirt on a 52-yard scamper to make it 20-16. Following a Holly punt, Hoehne engineered a 67-yard scoring drive that was capped on a 22-yard TD pass from sophomore QB Weston Hill to senior tight end Federico Orozco with 6:30 on the clock. A pass on the extra point gave the Farmers a 24-20 lead.
It proved to a be a lead that Hoehne never surrendered.
Disaster hit Holly when the Farmers blocked a punt to give them good position at the Wildcats’ 27-yard line. Hoehne scored again in four plays on a 15-yard run by Moltrer. A pass to Orzoco on a two-point conversion extended the Farmers lead to 32-20 with three minutes left in the first half.
In the third quarter, only one TD was scored by Hoehne but both teams had some crucial turnovers.
Hoehne received the second half kickoff and drove the ball to Holly 33 when the Farmers turned the ball over on a fumble.
After a Holly punt, the Farmers took over with 8:35 showing and put together a 68-yard scoring drive.
The drive was capped on a one-yard run by senior fullback Kyle Rowe, who finished the game with 139 yards rushing on 23 carries. The extra point failed as the score stood 38-20 with 3:40 remaining in third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, Holly was driving and looking to put some points on the board. At the Hoehne’ 15, Davis was rolling out when he pitched the ball as he was going down. The ball was snagged by Rowe and he returned it 73 yards to the Holly two-yard line.
On the second play, Hoehne then turned the ball over on a fumble that was recovered by the Wildcats.
One play later, Holly fumbled the ball back to the Farmers.
Moltrer then punched it in the end zone for his fourth touchdown. A two-point conversion made it 46-20 with 9:53 left to play.
The Farmers later capped the game’s scoring on a one-yard TD run by Hill with 6:20 remaining. Hill also ran over the extra point to bring the final score to 54-20.
This week, Hoehne will host Sangre de Cristo in a non-league game on Friday night.
The Farmers will then close out the regular season with league games against Wiley and McClave.
"It's not over yet," Dasko said. "We've still got Wiley and McClave. We're not good enough right now to take anybody lightly. McClave looks like they're playing pretty decent right now. We've just got to keep sharpening the edge on the knife for our kids and getting better every week."
In other 8-man action, Fowler rebounded following back-to-back losses to Holly and Hoehne as the Grizzlies trounced the winless Wiley Panthers, 54-15.
McClave posted a shutout over Las Animas, 50-0, to stay in the hunt while Springfield had bye.
The McClave Cardinals travel to Fowler in a key league contest this Friday, Oct. 12.
Two games will be played on Saturday, Oct. 13 when Holly (4-1) will host the winless Wiley Panthers at 7 p.m. during homecoming for the Wildcats.
The Springfield Longhorns will visit Las Animas at 2 p.m. on Saturday.
In 6-man action, the No. 9 state-ranked Granada Bobcats traveled to face No. 1 ranked and unbeaten Stratton/Liberty.
The Knighted Eagles (6-0) rolled to a 52-12 victory to end a two-game winning streak for the Bobcats.
Granada held a 6-0 lead after the first quarter when Stratton/Liberty scored 22 points including a TD late in the second quarter to grab a 22-6 lead at the half. The Knighted Eagles added 16 points in the third quarter and 15 in the fourth. Granada scored its second TD of the game in the fourth quarter.
“We played pretty well in the first half before we gave up that late touchdown right before the half,” said Granada head coach Junior Gonzales. “In the second half, their defense was solid and that posed some problems. Stratton/Liberty is a legitimate No. 1 team and they’re No. 1 for a reason. It was a good hard hitting and physical ball game.”
It doesn’t get any easier for Granada (3-3) as they travel to face the No. 2 ranked and unbeaten Kit Carson Wildcats (6-0) this Friday night in conference play.
“Kit Carson is a team that returns a lot of their starters from last year and they have a lot of tradition,” said Gonzales. “We will need to play error free football and also do a better job of tackling.”