By Greg Perkins
Despite one of their best rushing nights of the season, the Roadrunners came up just short in their second to last home game of the year, falling to Walden Grove 14-12 on Friday night. Holbrook controlled the field for much of the night, but two big plays from the visiting Red Wolves, combined with Holbrook’s inability to convert extra points, resulted in the two-point loss, which pretty much ends the Roadrunners hopes of reaching the state playoffs.
Playing without starting quarterback Dontae Hollins due to an injury, Coach John Bokker turned to fresh-man Julian Garcia to run the offense. Garcia played well, completing four of 15 passes for 36 yards. He also ran for 56 yards on 14 attempts, including a 20-yard scoring run in the third period. Sheldon Silversmith scored Holbrook’s initial touchdown on a 46-yard scamper, giving the Birds the early 6-0 lead. Walden Grove then returned the ensuing kickoff for a score to move on top 7-6 with the successful point after kick. Holbrook needed a two-point conversion run after Garcia’s score to tie the game, but again the Birds were unsuccessful, leaving them behind by two points despite outplaying the visitors for much of the night.
“It is a real heartbreaker losing a game that we dominated except for two plays. Julian Garcia and CJ Plumb had outstanding games. Our young guys stepped up and performed much better than the scoreboard showed,” said Coach Bokker.
Holbrook racked up 292 yards rushing on 52 attempts with only four ball carriers. Daniel Foster led the team in rushing with 90 yards on 16 attempts. Lanny Newton-Pender also carried 16 times, picking up 80 yards. Silversmith gained 66 yards on six attempts. Garcia rushed 14 times, picking up 56 yards. Michael McMonigal caught two balls for 25 yards and Foster hauled in two grabs for 11 yards.
Defensively, Holbrook was led by Foster and Nikko Ferniza, each with 12 tackles. Plumb finished with 11 stops, including a sack. Clayton Hunt was credited with 10 tackles.
This week the Roadrunners, now 2-6, should pick up their third win of the year when they travel to face a Chinle team, which beat them a year ago. Chinle has two wins, but like Holbrook, neither of those wins came against a very tough opponent.
By Greg Perkins