BOYD – The Holliday Eagles are famous for aggressive defense. Last Friday night against Boyd they had to rely on defense to shut down a talented Yellowjacket offense to come away with a 13-7 victory. Holliday’s rushing game faced a good Yellowjacket defense as well as the Eagles rushed for only 109 yards. Senior kicker/punter Logan Whitling helped the Eagles win the field position battle with 2 kickoffs for touchbacks and 6 punts averaging over 37 yards. Three of the punts were inside the Boyd 20 yard line.
When the Eagles forced a 3 and out on the first Yellowjacket possession the Boyd punter had the ball snapped over his head. Retreating to pick it up he met Austin Jones who downed him on the Boyd 6 yard line. Junior wingback Crae Jackson crashed in for a touchdown from 3 yards out behind lead blocks from Austin Linn and John Paul Menasco. The point after was no good, but in a defensive battle it was good to have a 6-0 lead with 9:19 left in the first period.
Eagle defenders, Tristin Boyd, Tucker Strealy, Kaleb Austin and Tyler Curnuttte kept the pressure on the Yellowjacket quarterback in passing situations. Strealy nearly blocked a punt in the second period. The Eagle swarming defense kept up the pressure, but the offense was unable to get moving so punts were exchanged. Jackson returned a punt in the second quarter to the Boyd 35 yard line to set up what turned out to be the winning touchdown. Senior Eagle quarterback Kase Patterson completed only one pass for the night, but he made it count. He rolled right to find Tristin Boyd in the flat who made the catch and outran the secondary to the goal line for a touchdown. Boyd led Eagle rushers with 69 yards on 8 carries. The Whitling point after kick made it 13-0 with 10:55 left before halftime. The half ended 13-0.
The Eagles were unable to move on the first possession after halftime, but Boyd was able to put together a 65 yard drive for a touchdown to cut the lead to 13-7 as the third period ended. Holliday would need to protect the lead for another 12 minutes. After a Whitling punt pinned the Yellowjackets at their own 18 yard line, Boyd got a couple of long pass completions. With the ball on the Holliday 35 yard line Mark Hardin ran down the Boyd ball carrier for a loss to bring up 3rd and 10. Eagle junior defensive end Crosby Jurecek tackled a scrambling Yellowjacket quarterback five yards short of a first down. On fourth down, good pass coverage and the Eagle pursuit forced the Boyd passer out of bounds to end the threat.
The Eagles ground game registered a couple of first downs to take some time off the clock in the fourth period before having to punt. With little time left and a long field to manage the Yellowjackets were forced to throw on every down. The Eagle pass defense was good and Jones thwarted any hope of last minute Boyd heroics with an interception allowing Holliday to run out the clock.
The Eagles for the night had 7 tackles for losses. Tristin Boyd led all tacklers with 9 solos and 4 assists. Jones had 8 solo tackles and Seth Atchley had 7. Holliday held Boyd to 133 yards rushing and 146 yards passing. More importantly the Eagles held Boyd to only one touchdown.
The win evens the Eagle record at 1-1 with a trip to Windthorst on the calendar for next Friday night. Holliday handed the Trojans a 51-7 defeat last year so Windthorst will feel they have a score to settle. The Eagles on the other hand will be determined to put win number two in the record book.