Holbrook High School Roadrunners end season at state second round
Willcox, Ariz. — The Holbrook High School Roadrunners lost a second round state playoff football game Nov. 12 to Willcox by a score of 51-12, ending the school’s first undefeated regular season in recent memory.
The loss put Holbrook’s final season-ending record at 11-1, 5-0, and caps one of the most successful tenure’s in Roadrunner football lore. The Roadrunners were easily the best team in northern Arizona the past year, putting up an average of about 50 points per game in 2A Little Colorado.
The loss marked the first playoff appearance for Holbrook in many years. In the Wilcox game, the Roadrunners simply were unable to establish a consistent running or passing game and were forced to throw the ball from about the middle of the first quarter. The fact that the Cowboys set the tone for the game with an opening 83-yard kickoff return for a touchdown didn’t help matters, either.
“We had a few defensive breakdowns and weren’t able to put up a lot of points,” Holbrook head coach Shawn Holley said. “We moved the ball the entire game on the ground. We just weren’t able to get it in the end zone often enough.”
The Cowboys (10-2, 5-0) scored on the opening kickoff, returning the kick 83 yards for a 6-0 lead. It was the first long-distance special teams score given up by the Roadrunners all year.
Senior offensive back Cristian Pando of Willcox ran one in from 35 yards out and then senior Ayden Fuentes scored on 24 and 26 yard runs. Panda had a 12-yard run, just before Holbrook’s Marcus Oberriter put the Roadrunners on the scoreboard with a 15-yard pass to Case Sahmie.
The Roadrunners had trouble establishing offensive and defensive consistency the entire game, unusual in that the previous games for Holbrook whereby games were usually over by halftime. The halftime score in the Willcox was 44-6, and things looked bleak for the Roadrunners for the first time all year.
Pando took one in from 55 yards out and Holbrook’s Daniel Montijo scored on a 5-yard run.
Senior running back Ayden Fuentes of Willcox was a problem all game long, from the moment he scored from 21 yards out to the score at 13-0 Cowboys in the first quarter.
The heavy scoring by the Cowboys early-on forced Holbrook to go to an air-first game — “…to at least get the defense off guard and get us in a more competitive position as far as the score was concerned,” Holley said.
The agile Fuentes went on to scored three touchdowns in the game. Pando scored multiple times in the game for Willcox, too.