By Ryan Carey, Correspondent
Perseverance is stubbornness with a purpose – Josh Shipp
After a slow start against Pattonville High School on Friday night, the Holt Indians pulled together in the second half to prove that they have what it takes to contend with any team throughout the season.
The first drive of the game, including the kickoff, were riddled with fumbles, and seemed to send the Indians reeling backwards; unable to find their footing in the first half. Having a hard time stopping the Pattonville running game, Holt gave up Touchdowns on three consecutive drives. Having used all three of their timeouts while facing a deficit of 21-0 at the end of the first quarter, it was apparent that the initial game plan needed to be reevaluated.
With just seconds left on the scoreboard in the first quarter, Holt’s offense was able to cross midfield for the first time, and was beginning to show signs of improvement and collaboration. With the help of a personal foul penalty against Pattonville, the Indians seemed poised to attack the end zone, with the ball spotted on opposition’s 16 yard line. With three failed plays, head coach Ethan Place made the decision to instill some belief in his team and make an attempt at converting on fourth down. The result was a turnover on downs. Soon to follow this turnover was a pair of touchdowns by a Pattonville offense that was running like a well oiled machine.
With 3:05 remaining on the clock in the first half, the Holt Indians were down 35-0, and were about to be gifted a chance to regroup and reevaluate. Lightning was detected in the area, and a 30 minute delay was imposed on the game, causing both teams and attendants of the game to gather inside until the weather cleared up. Whether it was the extended time to discuss how the game was going, or the halftime pep talk, the Indians were ready to prove to themselves that they have the ability to play with anybody. Coach Place’s earlier decision to show faith in his team would soon prove an integral step in turning this game around.
Suddenly recharged, the Indians began to effectively run Cole Mueller, the recent Kansas commit. With what looked to be a loss of 4 yards, Mueller was able to avoid lineman and linebackers enroute to a 54 yard touchdown run, putting Holt on the board for the first time in the game. And they didn’t stop there. This time putting the ball in the air, Quarterback Cooper Brown was able to deliver an accurate pass directly in the middle of the field to a fleeting Cole Mueller. Brown and Mueller’s connection accounted for 70 yards and a quick touchdown. Not to be outdone, fellow Quarterback Matthew Bennett stood in the shotgun formation, taking the snap and faking a handoff to his running back. Almost immediately, Bennett threw a dart downfield to Jackson Smith, who caught the ball near the 30 yard line. The rest of the field was a race Smith wasn’t going to lose.
The Indians were able to send a late message to the rest of Holt’s competitors this season, and while their defense improved steadily in the second half, the team was still having trouble stopping the Pattonville offense, allowing two more scoring plays. By the last whistle, Pattonville had defeated Holt, 49-21, but the numbers don’t speak to the grit and determination the Indians showed as a team in the second half of Friday’s game. This loss puts the Indians at 1-1 on the season with an important match up again the Timberland T-Wolves next on the schedule. This in-town rivalry game is as important to the school and players as a Conference game, and there is no doubt the Indians will be riding their second half achievements into the week as they prepare to battle for bragging at Timberland High School, next Friday.