FAIRFIELD — One touchdown usually isn’t enough to beat the Holland Hornets.
It was all the Garrison Bulldogs needed Friday night, though, as they trudged their way to a 7-3 victory over Holland in a Class 2A Division I area-round playoff game.
“They played very well,” Holland coach Brad Talbert said of the Bulldogs. “That may be the best game we’ve seen them play on film.
“We just didn’t execute. We got outplayed, outcoached, out-everything.”
The game-winning touchdown came on the night’s opening possession, set up by a 60-yard kickoff return by Cermodrick Bland that gave the Bulldogs a first-and-goal at the Holland 8-yard line.
The Hornets defense didn’t budge for three straight plays, but Garrison quarterback Brayden Davidson hit Chadrick Henderson on a fourth-down fade pass in the left corner of the end zone for the lone touchdown of the night with 10:09 left in the opening quarter.
“We are getting better at the right time,” Garrison coach Brandon Alvarez said “We’ve played some tough competition in the last few weeks — St. Augustine, West Hardin and then tonight Holland. That’s a big win for our program with the tradition they have.”
The Bulldogs (6-5), the fourth-place finisher from District 10-2A-1, advanced to play Timpson (12-0) in a regional semifinal next Friday at Homer Bryce Stadium in Nacogdoches.
Holland ended its season with a 9-3 record.
“I’m happy for my boys,” Talbert said. “We had a good season and this is not how we wanted to end it. But hey, this group has played some football. We had a chance to beat Crawford, had a chance to beat Hearne and had a chance to beat these guys. Our guys fought hard. But with this senior class, I expected maybe we’d go at least one more round.”
After totaling only 6 yards in the opening half and punting on all its possessions, Holland finally got it going in the second half but didn’t find the end zone. It was the first time the Hornets were limited to just a field goal since losing to Mart in the second week of the 2018 season.
Jose Arzola’s 22-yard field goal came with 6:52 to play after the Hornets had a first-and-goal at the Garrison 8. Following a penalty that pushed them back, they reached the 6 before settling for the 3 points.
“I just wanted to get something on the board,” Talbert said. “And after we failed to punch it in, I was thinking (on fourth down), ‘Man, this is going to be the hardest yardage of the night.’”
After the field goal, Holland’s defense forced a punt that gave the Hornets one final opportunity with 4:17 to play. The Bulldogs forced a three-and-out and got the ball back with 2:41 remaining.
“I figure these are high school kids,” Talbert said. “Maybe they’ll fumble, or get a penalty or something.”
After two running plays didn’t net a yard for Garrison, a reverse to Omarion Rasberry went for 35 yards to seal the Bulldogs’ win.
“Holland made some adjustments at halftime and really had us struggling,” Alvarez said. “That’s a really good bal club and I really thought we’d score more. Fortunately, our defense bent but never broke and our seniors played their lights out. This was a total team win.”
Neither team mustered much offense, with Holland gaining just 114 yards to Garrison’s 124. Bland led all ball carries with 95 yards on 26 carries. The Hornets were led by Josh Evans, who had 45 yards on 11 carries.
GARRISON 7, HOLLAND 3
Garrison 7 0 0 0 — 7
Holland 0 0 0 3 — 3
Gar — Chadrick Henderson 7 pass from Brayden Davidson (Davidson kick)
Hol — Jose Arzola 22 field goal
First downs 8 7
Rushes-yards 42-116 25-103
Passing yards 11 11
Comp.-Att.-Int. 2-5-0 1-6-0
Punts-average 3-31.2 6-32.7
Fumbles-lost 2-1 1-0
Penalties-yards 10-80 8-67
RUSHING — Garrison: Cermodrick Bland 25-95, Omarion Rasberry 6-40, Davidson 7-7, Maxwell Gipson 1-0, team 3-(-26); Holland: Josh Evans 12-45, Ayden Tomasek 11-44, Karsen Gomez 5-9, Ethan Mann 3-7, Blaze Wooley 3-(-2).
PASSING — Garrison: Davidson 2-5-0-11; Holland: Tomasek 1-5-0-11, Ethan Botts 0-1-0-0.
RECEIVING — Garrison: Henderson 2-11; Holland: Ashton Morris 1-11.