By BRETT MARSHALL
HUGOTON — There was no lightning in the area Friday night, but don't ask Holcomb coach Jerry Johnson if he didn't see some.
Hugoton's juggernaut offense struck with speed and efficiency en route to a convincing 62-6 victory over the Longhorns in a Hi-Plains League Division II football contest.
Even with a healthy lineup, Johnson knew his team would have its hands full with the Eagles.
The victory was sweet for the Eagles who had fallen to the 'Horns 13-6 a year ago when both teams were unbeaten entering the contest.
But playing short-handed, without starting quarterback Logan Singhisen (broken hand) and linebacker Nathan Gonzalez (separated shoulder) — the only two returning starters from 2008 — made the task even more difficult for the Longhorns.
"I had no idea we'd do this tonight," said Hugoton senior quarterback Zach Dunlap, who scored on two runs. "Everybody just played tough tonight but I didn't think we'd win like this. The league championship feels great but now the work begins with districts next week. I can't wait to get there (at Pratt)."
Dunlap's senior backfield mates also had big nights — Caleb Gifford finishing with 150 yards and three touchdowns, Bubba Beltz with 117 yards on just nine carries and a pair of scores and sophomore Keithan Martin with 66 yards on only five attempts and a touchdown.
Using its potent running attack, Hugoton opened up a 21-6 first quarter lead and extended the margin to 35-6 at halftime.
The Eagles did it with short drives and long runs, and then ran right at the Holcomb defense late in the second quarter on a 13-play, 72-yard drive to close out the first half.
In the first half, the Eagles rolled up 316 rushing yards while holding the Longhorns to 59 rushing yards.
"We just got beat by a better team," Johnson said. "We can't play undisciplined like we did in the first half. We talked to the kids and I thought we played with a little more pride in the second half, but we've just got to get ready for districts now."
The second half started much like the first. After forcing Holcomb to punt on its first possession of the second half, the Eagles scored on a 28-yard Martin scamper and then finished up with three Gifford scores in the final quarter and a half, all on short runs of five, three and three yards. The Eagles finished the night with 465 rushing yards on 51 carries, an average of just over nine yards per attempt.
"It's right up there with our best performance of the season," Hugoton coach Clint Merritt said.
Hugoton (6-0) travels to Pratt next Friday for its Class 4A district opener while Holcomb (2-4) returns home to face Southwestern Heights in its 3A district game.
Hugoton 62, Holcomb 6
Holcomb 6 0 0 0 -- 6
Hugoton 21 14 20 7 -- 62
Hug — Zach Dunlap 58 run (Hiram Urquidez kick), 11:22
Hug — Bubba Beltz 18 run (Urquidez kick), 7:12
Hol — Levi Koehn 3 run (kick failed), 1:15
Hug — Beltz 65 run (Urquidez kick), :00
Hug — Keithan Martin 17 run (Urquidez kick), 6:10
Hug — Dunlap 10 run (Urquidez kick), :24.8
Hug — Martin 28 run (Urquidez kick), 9:42
Hug — Gifford 5 run (Urquidez kick), 7:00
Hug — Gifford 3 run (kick failed), 3:33
Hug — Gifford 3 run (Urquidez kick), 9:30
Team Statistics HOL HUG
First downs 6 15 Rushes-yards 45-106 51-465
Passing yards 0 3
Passes 0-5-0 1-2-0 Fumbles-lost 2-1 2-0 Penalties-yards 2-20 6-45
Punts-average 4-28.7 2-26.0
Rushing — Holcomb: Gilbert 7-5, Koehn 18-52, I. Gonzalez 4-18, DeLaRosa 7-0, Prieto 5-11, Pfeifer 4-20. Hugoton: Beltz 9-117, Dunlap 9-147, Martin 5-66, Gifford 24-150, Degallado 1-0, Frederick 1-0, Scott 2-(-5).
Passing — Holcomb: Gilbert 0-5-0-0. Hugoton: Dunlap 1-2-3-0.
Receiving — Holcomb: None. Hugoton: Ghumm 1-3.