By Greg Perkins
The Roadrunners’ four-game winning streak came to an end at the hands of visiting St. Johns last Friday night. Along with losing the game, Holbrook also lost the services of running back Daniel Foster for the rest of the season due to a broken leg he suffered at the end of the third quarter. Foster was making a play on the ball near the end zone when the injury occurred.
Holbrook built an impressive record on the season with wins over unimpressive opponents. Even so, throughout much of this game it appeared the Roadrunners could play with the Redskins, who came in with only one loss, although their wins had not been impressive either.
This game was actually not real well played by either team. They combined for eight turnovers, with Holbrook counting for five of those.
St. Johns moved right down the field on its opening possession, capping the drive with a 30-yard touchdown pass from Wyatt Vaughn to Jake Zieler. Erick Bencomo’s point after kick gave the Redskins the early 7-0 lead.
Holbrook’s opening drive didn’t go as well. A high snap over Dontae Hollin’s head was recovered by St. Johns at Holbrook’s eight yard line. Three plays later, Garrett Davis scored on a two-yard run and St. Johns held a 13-0 lead. The ensuing kickoff was a squib kick Holbrook failed to recover, leaving St. Johns with another short field to work from the Roadrunner 15 yard line. Sherod Bride scored two plays later on a four-yard run and St. Johns led 20-0 with over five minutes still left in the first period.
The Roadrunners started to move the ball well on their next drive, which stalled inside the St. Johns 20 yard line, where Holbrook turned it over on downs. With 8:47 left in the half St. Johns increased its lead on a 29-yard scoring toss from Vaughn to Dayton Waite. Bencomo’s point after kick put the Redskins on top 27-0 at the half.
Holbrook put together another good drive to start the third period, but Hollins threw a pick six returned 82 yards by Zieler, increasing the lead to 34-0 for St. Johns.
Holbrook got on the board on its next drive when Hollins hooked up with Foster on a middle screen that went for 28 yards and a score. The point after kick missed, but the Birds were on the board at 34-6.
Losing Foster, who was the second leading rusher and receiver for the season, certainly took some steam out of the Roadrunners, but they bounced back with 5:38 left in the game on a Hollins to Shem Bowman 10-yard touchdown pass, making the final score 34-12.
“We had a slow start and it hurt us badly. After the first six minutes of the game we decided to play football,” said Coach John Bokker.
“Our offense moved the ball, but turnovers and costly penalties hurt us. Those things cannot happen against tough teams like St. Johns. We were inside the 20 yard line six times and only managed 12 points.
“Our team lost a key player on Friday, Daniel Foster…He was having an all-conference year on offense and defense. He is a tough kid and we expect him to be back next year stronger and faster than before,” the coach concluded. Hollins finished the game completing 10 of 23 passes for 137 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Julian Garcia led the receiving group with five catches for 78 yards. Foster had two grabs for 39 yards and a score before leaving the game. Bowman had two catches for 17 yards and a score. Lanny Newton-Pender caught one ball for three yards.
On the ground Bowman led the way with 14 carries for 91 yards. Foster gained 64 yards on 10 attempts. Garcia rushed three times, gaining 36 yards. Newton-Pender had three rushes for 15 yards. Hollins carried 14 times, gaining three net yards.
Bowman led Holbrook’s defense with 19 tackles. CJ Plumb had eight stops, Ben Nafziger and Nikko Ferniza each made seven tackles.
Holbrook falls to 5-3 on the season and now has to prepare for a very good Round Valley team without the services of Foster.
By Greg Perkins