Tuesday, 27 July 2021
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Holton Opens 2020 Season with Dramatic Victory Over Nemaha Central
By Jonny Kane
Copyright: MSC Sports

The wild, crazy offseason leading up to week one of the high school football season was all worth it Friday night in Seneca as fans were treated to an absolute thriller between Nemaha Central and Holton that came down to the final play with the Wildcats prevailing 15-13.

Both teams scored on their opening possessions of the game as Holton got the ball first and marched straight down the field and scored their first touchdown of the year on a 5-yard Jayden Fletcher touchdown run to take a 6-0 lead.

Nemaha Central came right back with a score of their own after moving the ball quickly as Zac Kramer found Gage Palic on an 18-yard touchdown pass to tie the game up at six.

That score held through the end of the first quarter and midway through the second before Holton put together a 7-play drive to take a 12-6 lead with two minutes to go in the half.

The Thunder tried to respond and score before the half getting the ball into Holton territory, but Matt Lierz intercepted a pass on the final play of the second quarter to keep the Wildcats lead at six.

That score held until the fourth quarter when Nemaha Central took their first lead of the game on a 67-yard touchdown pass from Kramer to Tyler Gerety who caught a 15-yard out route and took it the distance.

After trading possessions Holton had one final effort and quickly worked the ball into Nemaha territory with under two minutes to go.

Following a pair of stops by the Thunder defense, Holton faced a key fourth down, but Kale Purcell found Reece Holaday who made an acrobatic catch to keep the drive alive.

Holton drove all the way to the Nemaha four-yard line and with 9.8 seconds to go faced a third down and head coach Brooks Barta made the decision to try to kick a field goal with no timeouts.

That kick attempt was blocked, but after a scramble for the ball the Thunder were assessed a penalty for excessive celebration and because Holton recovered the blocked kick they were allowed to attempt another field goal with 0.1 seconds on the clock.

Matt Lierz came through and drilled the 20-yard attempt giving the Wildcats the dramatic victory.

Holton’s two-headed monster in the backfield of Konnor Tannahill and Canon Karn were nearly unstoppable as the two combined for over 200 yards on the ground with a touchdown.

Nemaha Central had Zac Kramer finish 10 of 14 passing for 191 yards and two touchdowns including one to Tyler Gerety who caught four passes for 122 yards and one score.

Holton (1-0) will hit the road again next week and travel to Chapman while Nemaha Central (0-1) travels to Eudora.

©2021 MSC Sports
Hiawatha, KS 66434
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