The Eagles football team recorded a home conference win over Richmond in Holden’s Military Appreciation game by the final score of 17-13 on Friday, Oct. 6.
Special teams played an impact role in the game as Eagle senior kicker Lane Inglis converted a successful field goal attempt, and the Spartans missed an extra-point kick on the night.
“We really felt like it was a good match-up for us,” said Holden football coach David Diener. “It was a game that we had a lot of mistakes that we normally don’t have, but we were still able to overcome those mistakes and still make enough plays at the end to come out with a victory.”
The Spartans posted the first points of the game late in the first quarter on an eight-yard touchdown run by Dryden Hendrix.
Holden’s ensuing possession stretched into the second quarter and ended with running back Reco Jenkins carrying for a 37-yard touchdown run. Inglis converted the extra-point kick to tie the game with 9:19 remaining in the first half.
Richmond returned a Holden fumble to inside the 10-yard line before a penalty and defensive stops on passing plays ended the scoring threat.
Upon regaining possession of the ball, Holden mounted a time-consuming drive with nearly five minutes remaining in the second quarter.
On a fourth-and-goal play with just seconds remaining on the first-half clock, Inglis booted a field goal to put Holden ahead 10-7.
“Inglis is a kid who as a sophomore, I knew he had some talent to be able to have a good leg,” said coach Diener. “It was something that came a little bit naturally, but he’s a lot of effort, and dedication, and time into. He absolutely had his highlight of his senior year, so far.
“We anticipate Lane being able to kick the ball into the end zone on touchbacks. We anticipate Lane to be able to make those plays when we’re inside the 15, and maybe having trouble making points. He absolutely came through, and for him to be able to do that tonight to help us win that game was absolutely outstanding for him.”
After Inglis kicked off to the Spartans following the made field goal, the senior kicker brought the Richmond ball carrier to the ground on the tackle with time expired on the first half clock.
“We’ve always known Lane’s been a good tackler,” said coach Diener. “He’s been on that unit since his sophomore year either kicking or in coverage, so we know that when he is there, we have a good tackler who will be able to make those two plays. He did when they broke free. It was a great contribution that we’re confident in his ability to do that.”
Inglis would plant the football in the end zone for a touchback on Holden’s kickoff to Richmond to start the third quarter.
On Richmond’s drive following the touchback, Eagle middle linebacker Tucker Kauffman recorded an interception to halt Richmond.
Holden capitalized on Kauffman’s interception by turning it into points on a Jayden Davis-Hacker touchdown run moments later. Inglis kicked the extra-point to put Holden ahead 17-7 with 5:53 remaining on the third quarter clock.
Richmond’s drive following Davis-Hacker’s touchdown run included an intentional grounding call against Spartan quarterback Jacob Lieberknecht when Lieberknecht attempted to avoid a sack during defensive pressure from Holden defensive end Jacob Andes.
“We had really good plays from our defensive ends,” highlighted coach Diener. “Andes, Sauren (Folson), Trent (Stout), they’re on a three-man rotation for two spots. We also had Andrew Johnston and Isaac Bell inside. They really gutted it out. They didn’t have subs tonight, and they really hung in there against a team that wants to run the ball inside. We shut their run game down and forced them to throw the ball. I’m extremely proud of those front four. They definitely stood out tonight and effected this game in a positive way.”
Richmond punted two plays after the intentional grounding call but would regain the ball on an interception with 4:00 remaining in the third quarter. The Spartans turned the interception into a touchdown when Lieberknecht connected with Bryer Farnan on a scoring pass. Richmond’s extra-point kick sailed wide to leave the score at 17-14 in Holden’s favor.
Fourth quarter defensive efforts by Holden held the Spartans from gaining momentum for a comeback.
“Defensively, it was one of our best efforts,” said coach Diener. “The goal line stand coming off the fumble that we had that stopped them was absolutely one of the pivotal moments of the season. For them to come in and get the fourth-down stop in the fourth quarter when they got the ball at midfield with two great open-field tackles by our corners on long breaks on the ball with no help…for them to go and make those two tackles for them to come up a yard short was a great play by Matt (Reynolds), and a great play on third-down by Justin (Brown), too.”
The Eagles ran out the final 5:59 with a key first-down catch by receiver Cohen Drake, and a heavy dose of Eagle ground game on carries by Jenkins, Davis-Hacker, and Sam Comer.
“Our ability to get first downs towards the end of the game was really key for us,” said coach Diener. “We really felt like our ability to control the clock was right where it needed to be to get to get those first downs.”
A fourth-down carry by Jenkins that crossed the line to gain for the first down allowed Holden to cap off a successful Military Appreciation Night.
“This such a cool opportunity for us to give back to our community,” said coach Diener in regard to the Military Appreciation Night activities. “This is a very patriotic town. We have great support for our troops in everything that we do. For us to be able to dedicate this night to them to give back to a group of people who sacrifice the most so we can play the game we love is really cool. It’s something that always takes a lot of communication, a lot of effort, a lot of people that we’re just so grateful that we get to be a part of that. We’re thankful for all the help we had to be able to pull this night off, so we could celebrate people who deserve to be celebrated more than just one day a year.”
Jenkins led the Eagles in rushing with 1 touchdown and 134 yards on 25 carries. Davis-Hacker had 1 touchdown and 65 yards on 10 carries.
Quarterback Lane Siemer picked up 23 yards on 6 carries. Comer had 20 yards on 5 carries. Tight end CJ Reifsteck had 6 yards on 2 carries.
Siemer completed 3 passes for 25 total yards. Jenkins had 1 completion on a halfback pass that was good for 25 yards.
Reifsteck caught 2 passes for 34 yards. Drake had 2 catches for 16 yards.
Inglis converted 2 point-after kicks and had 1 field goal on the night.
Ryan Hough handled 2 kickoff returns for a net of 12 yards. Drake had 1 kickoff return for 10 yards.
On defense, Andes led the team with 8 tackles (7 solo, 1 assist, 1 TFL). Tucker Kauffman totaled 7 tackles (1 sack, 2 TFL), and had 1 interception.
Matt Reynolds had 6 tackles and forced a fumble. Wes Brown had 5 tackles. Reifsteck and Kasyn Tevis each recorded 4 tackles. Kale Tryon, Justin Brown, Trent Stout, and Andrew Johnston each had 3 tackles. Stout recorded 1 TFL. Inglis and Folson each had 2 tackles. Brody Bockover had 1 tackle.
After last week’s win over Richmond, the Holden football team held an overall record of 4-3 and stood at 2-1 in MRVC-East play.
The Holden football team plays a conference game at Carrollton this Friday, Oct. 13. Game time is 7 p.m.