After a 28-point drubbing at home at the hands of Francis Howell one week earlier, Holt looked to get back on the winning track Friday night when they took the short drive to Troy to face the Trojans.

Though they fell behind early, their offense cranked into high gear in the second half en route to a 44-7 rout of Troy in high school football action at John H. Lawrence Sports Complex.

“This was a big bounce-back effort, and this was a challenging test after a disappointing loss,” said Indians coach Ethan Place, whose team improved to 6-1 on the season, bouncing back from a 55-28 loss to Francis Howell. “Troy is a good team, and I’m proud of how our team bounced back from last week and got a good win.”

Leading 10-7 after a 20-yard field goal from Brayden Burthardt as time expired in the first half, the Indians went to work in the third quarter. Jackson Smith’s 9-yard TD run was followed by a 30-yard TD pass by quarterback Cooper Brown to Colin Bunner.

After Holt’s special teams blocked a Mason Gessert punt, Smith scored his second touchdown of the quarter, this time from eight yards out to up the lead to 31-7.

Nick Bova then fumbled on Troy’s first play of its next possession. Defensive end Clayton Mitchell scooped up the loose ball and rumbled 21 yards untouched into the night to cap a 27-point explosion to lead 37-7 after three quarters.

“They came out after halftime, and focused on their game – and we’re a dangerous team if we can do that,” Place said. “We also know if we focused on their strengths offensively, which is their running game, we could handle them.

Trojans coach Ryan Nesbitt said his team had a sound game plan in the first plan – and even got a 71-yard blast for a score from Bova on the second play of the game for their efforts. 

However, he also said he had no explanation for what happened to his squad in the third quarter.

“In the first half, we stuck to the script. We just didn’t finish drives,” Nesbitt said. “The second half? I have no words.”