By Greg Perkins
Holbrook’s homecoming week was full of spirited events with students involved in several fun activities, but the fun ended Friday night as the top ranked team in Division IV made a visit to Roadrunner Stadium, handing Holbrook a 54-0 loss.
The Blue Ridge Yellowjackets wasted little time in showing their dominance, scoring the first time they touched the ball. After Holbrook received the opening kick and went three and out against the Jackets defense, Blue Ridge struck quickly.
Anyone who has watched Blue Ridge play over the years has witnessed one of the better special teams units with their punt return team. Once Holbrook punted the ball, Blue Ridge set up its patented return and scored on a 72-yard punt return, punishing defenders on the play.
The Roadrunners were simply outmanned at every turn. Blue Ridge was stronger and faster at seemingly every position, running through or around would-be tacklers throughout much of the night. Once the Jackets cruised to a 30-0 first period lead, they began attempting field goals on first downs.
Blue Ridge tacked on 10 more in the second to lead 40-0 at the half.
Holbrook’s offense struggled throughout the night, failing to pick up a first down until facing Blue Ridge bench players. The Roadrunners only moved the ball inside Blue Ridge’s 30 yard line once with an offense that was limited to just 106 total yards.
Dontae Hollins completed six of 19 throws for 64 yards, but threw three interceptions. On the ground, Shem Bowman rushed 14 times, gaining 48 yards. Michael McMonigal caught three passes for 26 yards. Ben Nafziger, Daniel Foster and Sheldon Silversmith each made one catch.
Defensively, Bowman again led the team in tackles with 15. Hollins added seven, while Silversmith and Foster each made five stops.
“We knew going in this was going to be a tough game. Blue Ridge definitely deserves the number one spot,” said Coach John Bokker.
“Shem Bowman had a great game, racking up 15 tackles, adding to his state leading 87 tackles. Shem is currently No. 4 in the entire nation in tackles.”
After winning their past two games, the Roadrunners now have to bounce back to face the second ranked team in Division IV. Due to a scheduling conflict in Show Low, the Roadrunners will face the Cougars in Show Low on Thursday, Sept. 27. That means one less day to prepare for another top level team from the White Mountains.
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By Greg Perkins