Coming off a 54-8 beat down to No. 1 state-ranked Haxtun on Sept. 9, the Holly Wildcats football team bounced back with a season-defining 27-14 come-from-behind win against the No. 3 state-ranked Akron Rams on Friday, Sept. 16 in Akron.
Holly was ranked No. 8 prior to loss to Haxtun and fell out the rankings.
Heading in the game, Akron had won its three previous games by a combined score of 140-34.
Sophomore running back Anderson Filla was averaging over 140 rushing yards per game and scored four touchdowns for the Rams while quarterback Ryan McCaffrey had thrown for 449 yards and nine touchdowns.
Holly was able to shut down the passing attack of the Rams. McCaffery was just 7-of-26 passing for 150 yards. He didn’t have a touchdown pass and was intercepted four times.
Holly trailed 8-0 after the first quarter and were behind 8-7 at halftime.
Akron tacked on another score in the third quarter to take a 14-7 lead into the fourth quarter.
The visiting Wildcats responded to outscore Akron, 20-0, in the final quarter to stun the Rams.
“It was definitely a big question mark for us after coming off the loss to Haxtun,” said Holly coach Dayne Eaton. “Akron has so many weapons and we worked hard on defense. We tried some new things and I think we kept their offense off balance. We were able to read their passes. It was a battle and a hard-hitting game. I felt we capitalized on a couple of their turnovers and that was a big difference in the game. Our guys are trusting in each other and we’re kind of changing our culture. I couldn’t feel more proud of my team right now.”
Quarterback Andre Salgado had good night throwing the ball for Holly as he completed 10-of-19 passes for 193 yards with 1 TD and 1 interception.
Running back Rueben ‘Dom’ Maldonado completed 1-of-2 attempts for 8 yards and 1 TD.
On the receiving end, Devin Eaton had 2 receptions for 37 yards including 1 TD while Colby Swopes had 3 catches for 33 yards and 1 TD and Dylan Tamayo added 2 catches for 35 yards.
Holly’s running game grinded out 204 yards and was fueled by R. Maldonado who rushed for 122 yards on 18 carries with 1 TD.
Salgado added 10 carries for 43 yards and 1 TD and Dominique Maldonado had 38 yards on 11 carries.
On defense, Daunte Maldonado registered 12 tackles (7 solo) and followed by Tamayo with 12 tackles (6 solo).
R. Maldonado ended up with 11 tackles (7 solo); Eaton had 7 sacks (4 solo), Joshua Saenz 6, Diego Enciso 4, Roque Torres 3, and Huston Rushton with 3 tackles.
The Wildcats recorded 4 sacks on the night. Swopes had 2 sacks and R. Maldonado and Eaton both had 1 sack. Tamayo picked off 3 interceptions and Salgado had 1.
Holly has one game left in the preseason when they host St. Mary’s (League 3) this Friday, Sept. 23.
The Wildcats then start League 7 play against Las Animas on Sept. 30.
In the month of October, the league schedule continues with a home game against Springfield on Oct. 7; a home game with McClave on Oct. 14; a road game at Wiley on Oct. 21; and a road game at Swink on Oct. 28 to round out the regular season.
The Wiley Panthers traveled to Calhan where they picked up a 44-18 victory over the Bulldogs.
Wiley took a 14-6 lead after the first quarter and extended that lead to 30-12 at halftime.
In the third quarter, Wiley scored once to make it 38-12.
Both teams scored an identical six points each in the fourth quarter to bring the final score to 44-18.
“We came out on fire early,” said Wiley new head coach Nick O’Loughlin. “The focus for this week is finishing better in the red zone and ball security. We turned the ball over three times inside the five-yard line and one time just outside the 10-yard line.”
Wiley took a 14-6 lead after the first quarter as the Panthers scored on a 58-yard TD strike from Cade Phillips to Daigan Adame and a scored again on a 23-yard run by Phillips.
The Panthers struck for two more scores in the second quarter to extend their lead to 30-12. Both touchdowns came through the air as Phillips connected with Adame for TD strikes of 17 and 35-yards.
In the third quarter, Phillips struck paydirt on a 3-yard run to make it 38-12.
The Panthers capped their scoring with a 9-yard run by Ivan Ayala.
Phillips finished the night with some big passing numbers. He completed 26-of-37 passes for 515 yards and 3 TDs. He was intercepted twice.
Adame was the leading receiver for the Panthers with 7 catches for 179 yards and 3 TDs.
Evan Larrick followed with 10 catches for 176 yards. Ty Michael had 5 receptions for 72 yards, Ivan Ayala had 2 catches for 44 yards, James Pearson had 1 catch for 25 yards and Jace Parker had 1 catch for 19 yards.
On the ground, Wiley rushed for a total 154 yards on 25 carries.
Phillips had 13 carries for 104 yards and 2 rushing touchdowns. Adame followed with 87 yards on 7 carries. Larrick had 2 carries for 15 yards, Ayala had 1 carry 9 yards and a touchdown and Michael had 2 carries 6 yards.
On defense, Cooper Tixer registered 23 tackles including 18 solo takedowns. Parker added 17 tackles (13 solo); Larrick had 16 tackles (12 solo); Ayla had 8 tackles (4 solo); Brendon Campbell had 8 tackles (3 solo); Adame had 6 tackles (5 solo); and Michael registered 5 solo tackles.
This week, Wiley (2-1) faces a big test when they travel to face No. 7 state-ranked Sanford (3-1) on Friday, Sept. 23.
The Panthers will then start league play when they host the Springfield Longhorns on Friday, Sept. 30.
McClave was scheduled to play at Pikes Peak Christian Academy last Saturday, but the contest was cancelled.
The Cardinals have a scheduled bye this week but are tentatively slated to play a team out of New Mexico.
Granada was unable to play its scheduled game with No. 2 Fleming on Sept. 10 after sustaining a number of injuries in a loss to No. 1 Stratton the week before.
The Bobcats had to forfeit the contest, dropping them below .500 on the year.
Granada was back on the field as the Bobcats opened their League 6 campaign at Walsh.
Granada faced a Walsh team that has been scoring points in droves.
After scoring 62 points in a season-opening loss to La Veta, the Eagles came back with 54 in a win over Mountain Valley in week two and backed that up with a 61-14 victory at Primero last week.
The fireworks flew as Granada won a shootout against the Eagles, 102-74.
Walsh has lost all three meetings between the two teams in six-man, including a forfeit last year. They did not play in 2020.
“The Walsh game was a bit wild,” stated Granada head coach Traegon Marquez. “It was a game where for the majority of the time we were in the driver’s seat but with that being said we just couldn’t make stops when we needed too. Credit to their team and the Jones kid for their game planning and what they did on offense.”
“But we need to be better on the defensive side of the ball,” Marquez added. “Too many missed tackles in six-man turns the game into the track meets we always hear about. Offensively, our guys did some really good things, and we were right in stride with our game plan. Everyone had a hand in getting the ball into the end zone.”
“We’re still not at 100% and we lost some key players in Bailey Hernandez and Oryan Hainer to injury,” said the third-year head coach. “So, we’re working and moving pieces around. Our next guys up are stepping up in big ways but it’s still new and we’re figuring out our new identity as we navigate without some key guys.”
Granada held a 30-22 lead after the first quarter and went on to build a 68-38 advantage at halftime.
The Bobcats added three more scores in the third quarter and Walsh had two scores as the score stood 86-54.
Walsh outscored Granada, 20-16, in the final quarter.
Granada quarterback Brandon Gonzales had a solid performance with the passing game as he completed 14-of-19 passes for 256 yards and 8 TD’s.
On the ground, Maddox Coleman rushed for108 yards and 1 TD.
John Hainer added 103 yards and 2 TD while Jonus Guevara had 97 yards rushing and 1 TD and Terence Hainer had 67 yards and 1 TD.
Luis Cano paced the Granada defense with 11 tackles. T. Hainer had 9 tackles and Coleman 7.
For Walsh, Leyton Jones, a junior, had a big game and scored 7 touchdowns for the Eagles.
He ran for 117 yards on 17 carries and scored 4 TDs. Ty Hoffman, a freshman, had 10 carries for 108 yards and 2 TDs.
In the air, Jones had 5 receptions for 94 yards and 3 TDs.
Wyatt Beecham, a freshman, registered 11 tackles (7 solo). Cole Tedder, a junior, had 9 tackles (6 solo).
For the record, the highest scoring game between two teams in the Colorado football record book is 186 points when Peetz defeated Briggsdale, 101-85, on Sept. 28, 2018.
The second highest scoring game is 182 points when Hugo beat Vona, 176-6, in 1930.
The Granada vs. Walsh game now ranks third in the record book.
The previous score that was ranked third was 163 points when Woodland beat Pawnee, 94-69, on Oct. 14, 2005.
This week, Granada will host the defending state champion and No. 10 state-ranked Cheyenne Wells Tigers (2-2) at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 23.
In the last two meetings between the two teams, Cheyenne Wells won 76-36 in 2019 and 77-20 in 2021.
“The Cheyenne Wells game is one that has been on our radar for some time now,” said Coach Marquez. “Our last couple of game with them were lopsided and we haven’t come out on top. So, we’re ready to have another crack at them. Even though they lost a big senior class from their championship team. They are a really good football team and have developed a strong culture. I have a ton of respect for Coach (Miles) Smith and his team. We know we have our work cut out for us. This is a game where it will have a playoff feel and playoff implications.”
Cheyenne Wells will be with out of their main players for the Granada game. Blake Gilmore suffered an injury in the Tigers’ 36-14 victory over Cheraw last week and will be missing in action.
Gilmore was the leading rusher for the Tigers with 57 carries for 493 yards and 8 TDs. In the passing game, he has completed 14-of-49 attempts for 209 yards. Gilmore leads the Tigers in scoring with 48 points.