JOHNSON CITY — If there were any concerns that the Holland Hornets might have any leftover baggage from last year’s earlier-than-expected playoff exit, they were quickly put to bed Thursday night.
Holland jumped out to a 55-0 halftime lead, tallied 655 total yards and got touchdowns from seven players in a 73-14 rout of Junction in a Class 2A Division I bi-district playoff game.
After handling Junction 63-12 in the first round of last year’s playoffs, Holland (11-0) had no issues taking care of business for the second straight season and advanced to face Three Rivers or Kenedy in next week’s area round.
Zane Spinn dissected the Eagles defense, completing seven of nine passes for 246 yards and five touchdowns. He led the Hornets to their lopsided halftime lead, tallying 232 yards passing and throwing for touchdowns of 63, 37, 33, 66 and 8 yards before the break.
Brady Shelton (193 total yards, three touchdowns) put Holland ahead 14-0 with a 63-yard TD catch and a 56-yard TD run. Clay Cooper (112 yards rushing, three touchdowns) intercepted a pass by Junction’s Abraham Escamilla and scored on Holland’s next play with a 19-yard run, and he made it 28-0 with an 8-yard TD run with 4:33 left in the first quarter.
After holding Junction (4-7) on fourth down, Spinn connected with Caleb Cearley for a 37-yard TD pass that put Holland up 35-0 by the end of the first. Spinn continued the onslaught in the second by connecting with Cooper on a 33-yard scoring pass and finding Shelton on a 66-yard catch-and-run that made it 49-0 with 9:48 left before intermission. Holland provided the finishing touches on a nearly perfect first half with an 8-yard TD pass from Spinn to Heath Hutka with 6:11 left in the second.
As strong as the Hornets offense was, their defense also caused havoc all night. Holland held Junction to just 176 yards — 39 passing and 137 rushing — and six first downs.
Coltin House broke off an 83-yard run for a touchdown and followed with a 53-yard TD run for the Eagles as the Hornets played several reserves in the third quarter. Holland led 67-14 heading into the fourth and coasted into the next round.