ATHENS — Holland got four touchdown passes from Desi Cantu and 121 yards rushing from JC Chaney as the Hornets built an early 21-point lead and held on in the second half to knock off Shelbyville in a Class 2A Division I area playoff.
Holland (10-2) moved into next week’s Region III semifinal against Centerville to be played at a time and place to be determined.
The Hornets — who have advanced to the third round three times in the last five years — defeated Centerville 28-20 in a 2020 first-round playoff matchup.
Cantu, who threw for three scores in last week’s win, helped stake Holland to an early cushion against the Dragons (7-5) with three first-half TDs to three receivers.
The sophomore first found Dawson Haney from 10 yards out and, 3 minutes later, connected with Seth Jayaprabhu for a 27-yard score and a 14-0 lead with 4:04 left in the opening frame.
Cantu later hit Cole Ralston for the first of two touchdowns on a 35-yard pass with 9:05 showing in the second quarter. After Shelbyville pulled to within 21-14, Cantu again found Ralston for a 30-yard score to move the lead back to two possessions with 10:23 remaining in the game
Cantu finished 5-of-7 passing for 110 yards, with all but one of those completions going for touchdowns. The sophomore entered the playoffs with two touchdown passes on the year and now has seven in the postseason.
The Hornets, who forced three turnovers, also got 67 yards rushing from Haney as they outgained Shelbyville 354-266.
Talarrian Lister paced the Dragons with 99 yards receiving on six catches, while Jakory Standley added 83 yards rushing on 18 carries.
HOLLAND 27, SHELBYVILLE 16
Holland 14 7 0 6 — 27
Shelbyville 0 7 7 2 — 16
Hol — Dawson Haney 10 pass from Desi Cantu (Jose Arzola kick)
Hol — Seth Jayaprabhu 27 pass from Cantu (Arzola kick)
Hol — Cole Ralston 35 pass from Cantu (Arzola kick)
She — Zay Cartwright 17 run (Ty Merriman kick)
She — Cartwright 16 run (Merriman kick)
Hol — Ralston 30 pass from Cantu (kick blocked)
She — Dada Davis defensive extra-point kick return
First downs 17 12
Rushes-yards 47-244 24-120
Passing yards 110 146
Comp.-Att.-Int. 5-7-0 12-20-2
Punts-average 0 3-34.0
Fumbles-lost 0-0 1-1
Penalties-yards 7-55 8-75
RUSHING — Holland: JC Chaney 17-121, Haney 12-67, Klay Pursche 7-31, Javier Hernandez 3-17, Cantu 2-7, Gavin Cruz 2-5, Christian Michalek 1-(-1), team 3-(-3); Shelbyville: Jakory Standley 18-83, Cartwright 6-37.
PASSING — Holland: Cantu 5-7-0-110; Shelbyville: Standley 12-20-2-146.
RECEIVING — Holland: Ralston 2-65, Jayaprabhu 1-27, Haney 2-18; Shelbyville: Talarrian Lister 6-99, Tre McGee 3-18, Davis 1-13, Brayden Hand 1-8, Cameron Mason 1-8.
— Reported by Jill Marwitz
SAN ANTONIO — The Granger Lions (11-0) held off the Yorktown Wildcats (8-4) in a shootout to win their Class 2A Division II area-round playoff game.
Granger will face district foe Burton in a Region IV semifinal next week.
No other information was reported.