Orange and black rolls
By KEVIN THOMPSON
CIMARRON — Halloween night in Bluejay territory proved ghoulish for the Holcomb Longhorns early.
But the team, disguised early as a sleeping giant, awoke in a big way in the second quarter and carried that into the third as they rolled to a 49-20 victory over Cimarron.
The win gave the Longhorns a perfect 3-0 district record, a district title, and a guaranteed home playoff game next Tuesday.
The early Jekyll and Hyde act kept the Longhorn crowd worried as the Bluejays took an 8-0 lead early in the second on a Ty Clark touchdown catch.
But the demons were exorcised as Holcomb scored on three straight possessions to take a 21-8 halftime lead.
They continued that trend in the third, outscoring Cimarron 20-6 to claim the big win.
Blake Richmeier scored four touchdowns in leading a Holcomb running attack that out-gained Cimarron 329 yards to 41.
His first two scores came from 1 and 4 yards in the second period, then he broke for 33- and 34-yard runs in the third.
"Our offensive line established the line of scrimmage and allowed me to run tonight," the junior said. "I give them the credit completely."
Credit the defense, as well, as Holcomb held the Jays' Caleb Fischer to 19-of-40 passing and limited Cimarron to just 41 yards on the ground.
After Clark caught a 7-yard pass from Caleb Fischer at 10:37 in the second for the first score and the early lead, the Holcomb offense started clicking.
A 13-play drive that consumed over five minutes, capped by Richmeier's 4-yard run, put the Longhorns on the board.
After a big stop following a defensive pass penalty, Heath Tucker took a punt back 85 yards for a second score.
The Holcomb defense forced a Bluejay punt after having the ball for just 34 seconds.
Five plays and 39 yards later, Richmeier had his second score and the Longhorns had a 21-8 halftime lead.
Christian Fischer got the Bluejays back on the board with a reception that capped a 5-play drive following an interception, but the Longhorns hit the mother lode again.
Tucker hit Calen Rupp for a 32-yard strike, then Richmeier went on his bruising binge and put the game out of reach.
Colby Casaus finished the scoring for Holcomb with a fourth-quarter interception return.
Tucker, who ran for 119 yards and threw for 97, said his team's slow start was typical, but so was the special teams return for a score and the quick strikes.
"We had all the momentum (going into halftime)," he said, and that momentum, he hopes, will carry into Tuesday's matchup at home against Hoisington.
"We got the home game, just like last year," Tucker said. "This feels great."
Longhorn coach Jerry Johnson, happy with the win and the upcoming home game, was left shaking his head after his team's slow start.
"We wanted to take up time on long drives, but we didn't do a good job of finishing drives because of penalties and turnovers," he said. "We didn't look polished the first quarter."
Johnson said, tongue-in-cheek, his team might have to scrimmage in pre-game just to hit each other so they can come ready to play in the second quarter.
Richmeier, who led all rushers with 149 yards on 18 carries, was a key in this win, Johnson said.
"We challenged Blake this week to really run, to punish people. He's a big, physical back who can punish people, and he did that tonight," Johnson said. "They were stacking the outside for Tucker, and it's nice to know we have another back we can depend on."
Tuesday's game means another short week to prepare.
"Now it's about breaking down what the other team is going to do," Johnson said. "With the championship atmosphere, the kids are going to rise up and play well."
The start time of Tuesday's game against Hoisington will be announced later today.
Holcomb — 0 21 20 8 -- 49
Cimarron -- 0 8 6 6 -- 20
Cim--Clark 7 pass from Ca. Fischer (Clark run), 10:37
Hol--Richmeier 1 run (Guerrero kick), 5:05
Hol--Tucker 85 punt return (Guerrero kick), 2:27
Hol--Richmeier 4 run (Guerrero kick), :47
Cim--Ch. Fischer 7 pass from Ca. Fischer (pass failed), 8:25
Hol--Rupp 32 pass from Tucker (Guerrero kick), 4:56
Hol--Richmeier 34 run (PAT failed), 2:29
Hol--Richmeier 33 run (Guerrero kick), 1:01
Hol--Casaus 31 interception return (Casaus catch), 10:18
Cim--Cooper 14 pass from Ca. Fischer (pass failed), 8:39
Total yards 429 247
Passing yards 100 206
Rushing yards 329 41
Pen.-yards 7-50 3-35
Turnovers 2 2
RUSHING--Holcomb: Richmeier 18-146, Tucker 14-119, Stegman 4-40, Rupp 4-17; Cimarron: Clark 14-55, Ca. Fischer 5-(-2), Ast 1-(-12).
PASSING--Holcomb: Tucker 7-10-97, Rupp 1-4-3; Cimarron: Ca. Fischer 19-40-206.
RECEIVING--Holcomb: Rupp 4-57, Gottschalk 2-41; Cimarron: Cooper 7-93, Ch. Fischer 6-46, Pachner 2-28.