The Holy Innocents’ football team had a lot of hype to live up to playing the first varsity game on its campus, before a homecoming crowd, and on the 60th anniversary of the school.
Not a problem.
After an early Mt. Vernon touchdown, the Bears reeled off 49 of the next 56 points in rolling to a 49-14 win over the Mustangs before a packed and adrenaline-filled stadium. Holy Innocents’ (6-0, 3-0) will travel to Strong Rock next week in hopes of keeping its unbeaten string alive.
It took Mt. Vernon less than a 90 seconds to score to open the game, reaching the end zone on a 29-yard pass play. The Bears, however, answered within 36 seconds to tie things up, as Michael Cox ran for 24 yards, then another 28 for his first of three touchdowns.
HI took the lead for good with 2:51 left in the frame when Hunter Hawk scored the first of his two touchdowns on a 5-yard scamper. Cox was a workhorse on the drive, though Jack Felton and quarterback Matt Davis also contributed some key runs.
The Bears upped it to 21-7 early in the second after a 61-yard drive, finished off by a 20-yard run from Hawk. After that, the Mustangs got as close as they would get on the night, scoring on a 78-yard pass play with 8:47 left to cut it to 21-14.
Holy Innocents’ answered, going 56 yards for the score, capped off by a 7-yard run from Davis on the quarterback option to make it 28-14 at the half.
After that, it was all Holy Innocents’ as coach Todd Winter’s bunch put up 14 points in the third and added another touchdown in the fourth. The first score in the opening drive of the second half came on Davis’s only pass of the night. He hit Landon Kardian for a 28-yard strike to make it 35-14.
Cox scored his second touchdown of the game next, going 5 yards to make it 42-14. Felton had a key 31-yard gain on the march, and Hawk contributed a 12-yard run.
In the final period, the Bears drove it 87 yards for their final touchdown, set up by a 74-yard run from Davis that took it to the Mustang 5. Cox ran it in two plays later from the 1 to finish the scoring.
The secondary was tested but remained strong throughout. Leighton Dickson had a key interception, and Hunter Hawk was again one of the leading tacklers. Hawk and Spencer Goetz both had a sack, and Charlie Mallady recovered a late Mustang fumble.
Peter Wandtke remained perfect for the season on extra points.