By BRETT MARSHALL
HOLCOMB — It was just a year ago when the Holcomb Longhorns walked off the football field in Hoisington, flying high after handing their Class 3A rival a 25-point whitewashing.
Friday night, Lonnie Irvin and his Cardinals returned the favor, riding roughshod en route to a 30-0 shutout over the Longhorns at Holcomb Field.
"We were able to take care of the ball and established the line of scrimmage," Irvin said. "The kids played well and managed to do a lot of things right."
It was pretty much a night for big plays for the Cardinals, who with 16 starters returning from last year's 7-3 team, scored on a Tanner Klug 73-yard scamper with just 27 seconds left in the first quarter and Dustin Broeder's conversion run made it 8-0.
Holcomb couldn't get its offense untracked in the first half, punting four times, being whistled for four penalties and managing only 20 yards rushing.
"It was Hoisington's turn to use their experience and our inexperience really showed," Holcomb coach Jerry Johnson said, who only has two returning starters from last year. "We just made a ton of mistakes in a lot of different areas but we've still got a lot to play for, and when we beat Hoisington last year, they only lost one more time in the regular season and made it to the playoffs."
With 3:43 left in the first half, Klug had scooted around left end for 10 yards before fumbling. However, the ball bounced right back up into his hands and he finished off the play by taking it the remaining 31 yards for the Cardinals' second quarter.
Another big play by Hoisington in the third quarter sealed the deal for Hoisington when Michael Richards took a punt from Trey De La Rosa, broke through a couple of tackles, then raced away from the Longhorn defenders for a 54-yard punt return touchdown. Higgins tacked on the two-point conversion and it was 22-0 at the 9:18 mark of the third period. Klug finished the game with 200 yards on just 14 carries. He also added an interception on the defensive side.
Hoisington's final score came with 2:09 left in the third quarter on Dustin Broeder's 1-yard plunge up the middle.
Johnson made some personnel switches in the second half and finally in the fourth quarter the Longhorns' running game began to see some life.
"We had some trouble with some blocking in both the line and in the backfield," Johnson said, "but I'm not discouraged. We lost to a really, really good team. Hoisington has great tradition and we knew they would be a tough opponent to open the season with such a young team."
Holcomb managed just 76 yards in 39 rushing attempts and quarterback Logan Singhisen was 6-of-15 for 58 yards and had one interception. Levi Koehn had 59 of those rushing yards on 18 attempts. The Cardinals finished the night with 296 yards rushing and completed just 1-of-3 passes for 15 yards.
Holcomb will travel Friday to face Sublette in a non-league game between two different divisional foes of the Hi-Plains League.
Score by Quarters
Hoisington 6 8 16 0 — 30
Holcomb 0 0 0 0 — 0
Hois — Tanner Klug 73 run (Dustin Broeder run)
Hois — Tanner Klug 41 run (run failed)
Hois — Michael Richards 54 punt return (Zach Higgins run)
Hois — Dustin Broeder 1 run (Broeder run)
First Downs 9 10
Rushes-yards 40-296 39-76
Passing 15 48
Comp-Att-Int 1-3-0 6-15-1
Punts 2-32.0 7-23.7
Fumbles-lost 2-0 4-2
Penalties-yards 6-55 7-45
Rushing — Hoisington: Higgins 4-31, Klug 14-200, Riedl 6-14, Sanders 7-40, Stumma 4-(-2), Hellerud 4-15, Warnken 1-(-2). Holcomb — Singhisen 12-22, I. Gonzalez 3-6, Koehn 18-59, Pfeifer 6-(-3).
Passing — Hoisington: Higgins 1-3-15-0. Holcomb — Singhisen 6-15-48-1.
Receiving — Hoisington: Klug 1-15. Holcomb — Pfeifer 2-16, Walck 1-6, Homer 1-8, De La Rosa 2-18.