Holy Innocents’ didn’t take long to set the tempo Friday night in Macon, scoring three touchdowns on its first three possessions. The Bears never looked back as they topped Rutland High School 31-0, improving their season record to 3-0.
This is the first 3-0 start for any HIES football team, though the string will be tested Friday at Riverwood when coach Todd Winter’s bunch matches up against perennial power Eagles Landing Christian in a 7:30 kickoff.
The first quarter in Macon saw two HI possessions; the first long, time-consuming march was finished off by a 31-yard touchdown run from Michael Cox. The second drive was déjà vu all over again, this time with Matt Davis going 11 yards around end to make it 14-0 at the end of the stanza.
After a Hurricane three-and-out to start the second frame, the Bears began at the Rutland 47 with help of a penalty. Cox, TyQuann Alexander, Davis and Jack Felton ran it to the 10. After Cox got it inside the 5, Hunter Hawk finished the march to make it 21-0.
Rutland got a huge break late in the quarter after the Bears fumbled a punt inside their own 35. But two plays later, cornerback Ronny Williams came up with an interception. The turnover almost led to more points, but HI just missed a 35-yard field goal with no time on the clock to make it 21-0 at half.
The third quarter was mostly sloppy. Both teams turned it over on downs before an HI drive to the Rutland 49 was thwarted mostly by penalties. But after a long punt from Marshall Nichols that pinned the Hurricanes at their own 5, the Bears forced a fumble that was recovered by Griffin McKinnis.
A play later, Hawk again scored to put the Bears up 28-0.
The final period saw HI sustain a long drive that used up most of the clock. Coach Winter used his starters and some of his bench in the march that ended with a Peter Wandkte 32-yard field goal.
McKinnis, Spencer Goetz, Hawk and Landon Kardian were some of the many defensive standouts. Wandkte again was 4-for-4 on PATs, making him 12-for-12 on the year. Nichols had two punts for 50-plus yards, and Joey Holliday caused a fumble that was recovered by Kedar Henry in the second half.