ROCKDALE — Klay Pursche scored four touchdowns, and the Holland Hornets won a bi-district game for the fifth consecutive year by rolling to a 40-7 victory over Jewett Leon in a Class 2A Division I first-round matchup Friday night at Tiger Stadium.
The Hornets (9-2), champions of District 12-2A-I, advanced to face Shelbyville (7-4) in next week’s area round.
Holland overcame three first-half turnovers and led by just a touchdown at halftime before pulling away from the Cougars (4-7).
The Hornets turned over the ball on the fourth play of the game on a bad exchange, giving the Cougars the ball on the Holland 48-yard line. After a couple of short runs and an 18-yard pass completion to move the Cougars to the 24, Tito Gonzalez gave them the lead with a 24-yard TD run with 8:27 left in the opening quarter.
Holland answered right away when Pursche found a hole right up the middle and ran 64 yards to tie the game at 7 with Jose Arzola’s extra point.
After an interception by Holland’s Christian Michalek, Desi Cantu connected with a wide-open Pursche for a 48-yard touchdown pass to give the Hornets a 13-7 lead with 9:45 left in the opening half after the missed extra point.
Only the fumbles and a missed field goal prevented Holland from expanding the lead before halftime.
The third quarter was a different tale, though, as the Hornets scored on every possession and outscored the Cougars 20-0 to take a 33-7 lead into the final frame.
Holland took little time to make it 20-7 in the third. After forcing a punt by the Cougars, Cantu hooked up with Michalek for a 51-yard touchdown pass.
After Holland forced a turnover on downs, its offense went right back to work as Michalek took an end-around for a 32-yard TD run to make it 26-7 with just more than 3 minutes left in the third.
Pursche added his third touchdown of the night with a 24-yard interception return on the Cougars’ ensuing possession, and the Hornets took a 33-7 advantage into the fourth.
After a Leon punt, Pursche capped the scoring on Holland’s first play of the final quarter by hauling in a 49-yard pass from Cantu for the final tally.
Yoe falls to Hallettsville in bi-district shootout
BRENHAM — Cameron Yoe’s Pharrell Hemphill caught four touchdown passes from Ryan Muniz but Hallettsville outdueled the Yoemen in a shootout, 42-38, for a Class 3A Division I bi-district playoff victory.
Yoe finished the season with a 4-7 record in Rick Rhoades’ return as head coach. The Brahmas (9-2), last season’s 3A-I state runners-up, advanced to play Diboll in the area round.
Yoe trailed 14-0 at the end of the first quarter then outscored Hallettsville 28-7 in the second quarter to lead 28-21 at halftime.
The Yoemen tacked on a Landen Greene field goal on their first possession of the third quarter for a 31-21 lead, their largest of the game.
Hallettsville tallied 14 straight — a 1-yard TD run by quarterback Trace Patek and 5-yard TD run by Price Pruett — to regain the lead 35-31 by the 10:59 mark of the fourth. Yoe went back ahead 38-35 on Hemphill’s 27-yard touchdown reception with 8:47 to play before Patek scored on a 2-yard TD run with 5:37 to go to put his team ahead to stay, 42-38.
The Brahmas took their early lead with a 6-yard TD run by Patek and a 4-yard scoring run by Jashaun Price.
Hemphill had his first TD reception from Muniz 26 seconds into the second quarter that cut Yoe’s deficit in half. After Yoe recovered a fumble, Hemphill caught a 7-yard TD that brought the Yoemen even at 14.
Chase Janak’s 8-yard scoring catch from Patek at 5:05 of the second put Hallettsville back in front 21-14. But Yoe closed the half with 14 points in a row, including Hemphill’s 2-yard TD catch and Phaibian Bynaum’s 8-yard run with 32 seconds left.
HALLETTSVILLE 42, CAMERON YOE 38
Hallettsville 14 7 7 14 — 42
Yoe 0 28 3 7 — 38
Hal — Trace Patek 6 run (Chase Janak kick)
Hal — Jashaun Price 4 run (Janak kick)
Yoe — Pharrell Hemphill 16 pass from Ryan Muniz (Landen Greene kick)
Yoe — Hemphill 7 pass from Muniz (Greene kick)
Hal — Janak 8 pass from Patek (Janak kick)
Yoe — Hemphill 2 pass from Muniz (Greene kick)
Yoe — Phaibian Bynaum 7 run (Greene kick)
Yoe — Greene 20 field goal
Hal — Patek 1 run (Janak kick)
Hal — Price Pruett 5 run (Janak kick)
Yoe — Hemphill 27 pass from Muniz (Greene kick)
Hal — Patek 2 run (Janak kick)
First downs 30 15
Rushes-yards 52-346 23-81
Passing yards 173 266
Comp.-Att.-Int. 10-13-1 11-19-0
Punts-average 1-35 2-47.5
Fumbles-lost 1-1 0-0
Penalties-yards 4-40 3-21
RUSHING — Hallettsville: Damani Hartwell 5-74, Cam’ron Alamilla 12-74, Price 11-72, Patek 10-56, Pruett 12-54, Brandt Trlicek 2-16; Yoe: Bynaum 10-44, Fabion Salomon 5-34, Trayjen Wilcox 1-14, Keshon Johnson 1-0, Muniz 6-(-11).
PASSING — Hallettsville: Patek 10-13-1-173; Yoe: Muniz 10-18-0-217, Bynaum 1-1-0-49.
RECEIVING — Hallettsville: De’keidris Bedford 5-54, Bowen Higgins 1-38, Alamilla 1-35, Hartwell 1-33, Janak 2-13; Yoe: Hemphill 6-135, Javoun Golsby 1-49, Wilcox 1-41, Charlie Mayer 1-35, Bynaum 2-6.