HAMLER — The return of wide receiver Kolton Holloway to the lineup paid dividends for Patrick Henry. After missing the last 2.5 games, Holloway returned and finished with 102 yards receiving.
Three of his receptions helped keep two Patrick Henry drives alive and helped lead the Patriots to a come from behind 26-14 win over Arlington on Saturday night, in the first round of the Division VII playoffs.
The senior Holloway even played quarterback for one series in the fourth quarter when regular quarterback T.J. Rhamy went out with a tweaked ankle. Rhamy later returned for Patrick Henry’s final two series of the game.
“I was upset, because I had a drop with the first ball that was thrown to me,” Holloway said. “But after I caught the first ball, it was nice to get into a rhythm again. It was fun getting out there and playing quarterback, too, but I was glad when T.J. got back in. He’s a gamer.”
Arlington drew first blood by scoring on its second series of the game, to take a 7-0 lead after one quarter. The Red Devils, thanks in large part to a 39-yard run on a sweep by Noah Thibault, drove 64 yards in 10 plays. Connor Foust scored from the two-yard line with 40 seconds left in the first frame.
But the PH defense then settled down, holding Arlington’s run game to three yards on six carries the rest of the half and 30 yards on 13 carries in the second half.
“We just stayed with the defensive plan of getting our ends to come up on some plays and then back on others and to watch their halfbacks,” said Patriots defensive coordinator Bob George. “They hurt us early, but after that, the kids made some adjustments to stop their sweep and did a good job. Their line was physical, but the best part of our defense is we’re good at stopping the run.”
After surrendering the score early, Patrick Henry scored on two of its final three drives of the first half to take a 12-7 halftime lead.
Two straight passes to Holloway from Rhamy, one for 27 and the other for 19 yards, set up Wil Morrow’s 21-yard scoring burst. However, Rhamy missed the extra point kick and Arlington still led, 7-6.
On its final scoring drive of the first half, Holloway caught a 10-yard pass on fourth down and six, to the 17-yard line. Four plays later, Morrow plunged in from the one with just 36 seconds left in the first half, to put Patrick Henry up.
After getting stuffed on runs up the middle in the first half, Patrick Henry was able to get its running game on track in the second half.
After punting on its first series of the second half, the Patriots scored on their inext two drives to take a commanding 26-7 lead. In the first scoring drive of the second half, Rhamy rambled down the right sideline to pay dirt on a 17-yard run, on third down and five.
Next, Patrick Henry put together a long, methodical drive, going 52 yards in 10 plays. After Rhamy kept alive the scoring drive with a 12-yard run on third and nine, seven straight runs ended with a three-yard scoring run from Morrow. Holloway came in and played quarterback after Rhamy hurt his ankle on the 12-yard run.
With Patrick Henry up, 26-7, Arlington then put together a scoring jaunt, going 68 yards in six plays. The Red Devils finished off the drive with a three-yard scoring pass from Jacob Price to Caden Lafferty.
Arlington had one more chance to draw closer. Taking over on its own 34-yard line after stopping PH on downs, Arlington moved to a first down on the PH 41. But after two straight incomplete passes, Price was sacked on two straight plays and Patrick Henry took over on the Arlington 35-yard line.
PH was stopped on downs again, but that left Arlington with just two plays before the game ended.
Offensively, Morrow led PH with 116 yards on 25 carries. In addition, Rhamy threw for 123 yards, completing seven, in 11 attempts.
Connor Foust led Arlington with 52 yards rushing on 13 carries, while Price completed five passes for 52 yards.
“(Arlington) controlled the line of scrimmage the first half,” said Patrick Henry coach Bill Inselmann. “But we made some adjustments and the guys did a good job of controlling the line of scrimmage the second half. Their defense had stopped us the first half when we tried to run up the middle. But we talked about getting the ball to the ends for our backs and we were able to get some yards to the outside in the second half. We had had three guys who were hurt and could not play during our final regular season home game, but tonight, all three were able to play, so it was nice to get them out on a winning note.”
Patrick Henry (8-3) will play Norwalk St. Paul for its next game, at a site yet to be named.
“All I know is that game will be played somewhere on artificial turf,” Inselmann said. “Our guys don’t get to play on that type of surface much, so they’re excited about it.”
First Downs 12 16
Rushing Yards 31-111 47-198
Passing Yards 85 123
Total Yards 196 321
Passing 8-16-0 7-11-0
Fumbles-Lost 2-1 2-0
Penalties 4-42 7-70
Arlington 7 0 0 7 — 14
Patrick Henry 0 12 6 8 — 26
A — Foust 2-run (Kentris kick).
PH — Morrow 21-run (kick failed).
PH — Morrow 1-run (pass failed).
PH — Rhamy 17-run (pass failed).
PH — Morrow 3-run (Schulze pass from Rhamy).
A — Lafferty 3-pass from Price (Kentris kick).
RUSHING: Arlington — Foust 13-52; Thibault 6-41; Gast 6-17; Launder 1-3; Price 4-(-1); Team 1-(-1). Patrick Henry — Morrow 25-116; Rhamy 14-49; Kistner 5-33; DeLong 3-0. PASSING: Arlington — Vermillion 3-5-0-33; Price 5-11-0-52. Patrick Henry — Rhamy 7-11-0-123. RECEIVING: Arlington — Foust 1-8; Launder 2-32; Gast 1-3; Frysinger 1-23; Webb 2-16; Lafferty 1-3. Patrick Henry — Holloway 6-102; Feehan 1-21.