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Holley wins thriller in 8 man football debut

By Mike Wertman, Sports Writer Posted 15 September 2018 at 5:42 pm

Photos by Cheryl Wertman – Holley’s Jacob Affronti goes around end for one of his four touchdowns during the victory over visiting Marcus Whitman this afternoon in the Hawks 8 man football debut.

Eight man football is famous for wide open, high scoring action and Holley’s debut into the sport certainly lived up to that billing this afternoon as the Hawks scored a wild 58-52 victory over visiting Marcus Whitman.

Two long touchdown runs by Cody Tanis in the final four minutes ended up providing the margin of victory for Holley in the see-saw contest on a sizzling afternoon.

“Unbelievable,” said Hawks Coach Wil Prince of the wild contest.

Setting the tone for the high scoring affair, Marcus Whitman grabbed an 18-16 lead at the end of the first quarter on three touchdowns by quarterback Seth Benedict on runs of 7 and 23 yards and a 65 yard interception return.

The Holley duo of Richard Webster and Mason Neale tackle Marcus Whitman quarterback Seth Benedict.

Holley answered with touchdown runs of 16 yards by Jacob Affronti and 50 yards by Dalton Moyer to stay close.

The Hawks then rallied into a 36-30 halftime advantage as Affronti had a huge second quarter with long touchdown runs of 50, 74 and 35 yards.

Neither team could find the end zone in the third quarter but the Holley defense did come up with a huge play to keep Marcus Whitman from scoring as Jamel Hildreth recovered a fumble in the Hawks end zone after a long Wildcats pass completion.

The lead then sea-sawed back-and-fourth four times in the wild fourth quarter.

First, Marcus Whitman went up 40-36 on a 16 yard touchdown run by Dylan Howell and a two-point conversion carry by Benedict.

However, the Wildcats lead lasted only 16 seconds as Hildreth returned the ensuing kickoff 88 yards for a touchdown to put the Hawks back on top 42-40 with 10:54 to go.

Big plays continued to be the order of the day as Marcus Whitman answered with a 77 yard touchdown run by Austin Webster with 5:38 to go to regain a 46-42 lead.

Once again though Holley answered right back, this time with a clutch 38 yard touchdown run by Tanis on a fourth down and one play with 3:45 remaining. Hildreth tacked on the two point conversion as the Hawks regained the lead for good at 50-46.

The Hawks then got what proved to be a huge touchdown when Tanis broke loose up the middle for a 62 yard touchdown scamper with 1:32 remaining. Hildreth again added the two-point conversion upping the lead to 58-46.

The score indeed proved to be a huge one as Christian Daniels returned the ensuing kickoff 65 yards for a touchdown for Marcus Whitman pulling the Wildcats back to within six at 58-52 with 1:10 still remaining.

However, Holley survived the challenge as the Hawks successfully covered the ensuing kickoff and then ran two plays to kill the final minute and preserve their historic first 8 man football victory.

Holley next visits CG Finney next Saturday afternoon.

Holley’s Matt Hahn is tackled after returning a kickoff.