September 14th, 2019

Cougars Overcome Early Deficit to Beat Holmes 21-14

Jeff Woods 

Staff Writer 


 Cougars Overcome Early Deficit to Beat Holmes 21-14
Cougars defeat the Bulldogs 21-14/ photo by Jeff Woods

Holy Cross proved its mettle in a 21-14 come from behind win over Holmes Friday night. The Cougars committed four turnovers and spotted the Bulldogs a 14-0 first-quarter lead, only to score 21 unanswered points and improve to 3-1 on the season.

 

“They didn’t stop us all night. We stopped ourselves,” said Holy Cross head coach Bob Bronger. “(Holmes’ defensive players) were so fast and they close so quickly, we weren’t used to that. We saw that versus (Paducah) Tilghman, but these guys were a little quicker than Tilghman. This is a big win for us. They’re a good football team.”

 

Two early turnovers led to Holmes touchdowns, including a 92-yard catch and run that put the Bulldogs on the board 7-0. Their second touchdown came with 33 seconds left in the first quarter following an eight-play, 63-yard drive.

 

“If you would’ve seen our Paducah Tilghman game, we got down 21-0 like that off mistakes with their speed. We could’ve said like a lot of people do ‘Here we go again!’ But we did not,” said Bronger.

 

“It was definitely messy, but it was messy both ways,” said junior Chaz Geraghty. “You just have to keep your head up, and that’s what we did. After a turnover, we would get our own turnover and just keeping our heads up.”

 

The most impressive performance of the night came from the Cougars’ defense. Needing a touchdown to tie, Holmes threatened inside the Holy Cross 10-yard line three times in the fourth quarter but walked away with zero points. The most significant stop was on 4th and less than a yard from the two-yard line. The measurement was close enough that officials took a few extra seconds before confirming the Cougars had denied the Bulldogs of the first down.

 

“Is that guts and courage or what? That was desire and wanting to win,” said Bronger. “Those kids were playing on pure desire and just character. And when you do that, good things happen.”

 

“We just executed,” said Geraghty, who knocked the ball away on fourth down to end Holmes’ final drive. “We knew what they were running, and we just executed, played hard, and got together, and we fought. And that’s all I ask is that we fight every day.”

 

The turning point of the night occurred late in the second quarter. Leading 14-7 inside the Cougars 20, Holy Cross junior Tate Gaw pulled down his first of two interceptions on the night. Two plays later, Geraghty connected with senior Graham Carnes for a 65-yard touchdown to pull the Cougars even with Holmes at 14-14 just seconds before halftime.

 

“It felt good going into the locker room tied up,” said Bronger. “It felt good having the long play and knowing that we could run a long play versus these guys with that much speed, that we were able to outrun them and do that. That gave us a little bit of confidence that we could do this.”

 

Holy Cross took the lead for good on its first possession of the second half. Senior JR Perry rumbled ten yards for a touchdown to make it 21-14. The Cougars’ defense did the rest.

 

“I feel like after we came out of the locker room after halftime, we kept a good spirit,” said Gaw, who had perhaps the best line of the night when talking about his two interceptions.

 

“On the first one, I was just so happy that I couldn’t run, and I fell,” he smiled.

 

The Cougars return to action next Friday night at home against Moore.

 

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