November 20th, 2010

Holy Cross Starts Fast, Falls Hard 59-14

Brad Knoop

Staff Writer


Holy Cross Starts Fast, Falls Hard 59-14
photo by Brad Knoop

Despite early 14-0 lead, Cougars' season ends to Mayfield

It was unusually quiet around the Holy Cross fieldhouse late Friday night.

Cheers were replaced by tears. High fives were replaced by hugs.

There was senior Jarrett Clark hugging anyone who would open up. First stop was his mom Wendy. Senior T.J. Pollard wasted no time finding his mother, Denise, and squeezing her like there was no tomorrow. 

The matchup between Holy Cross (11-2) and Mayfield (13-0) had been talked about since August as the regional title game. And so it was, at Alumni Field, on a night when the game was delayed as the Mayfield bus was stuck in Dixie Highway traffic. An accident gnarled the highway even more so than the usual Friday night rush.

The top-ranked Mayfield Cardinals came flying in virtually untouched, having one close game all season. They boast a potent offense based around speed. But they got a little taste of their own medicine just two and a half minutes into the game. Holy Cross senior Greg Johnson blasted through the hole created by his offensive line and raced 55 yards for the first score of the game. A 7-0 Holy Cross lead was Mayfield’s first deficit of the year. 

Following a defensive stand by the Cougars, Mayfield found out how fast junior Jesse Keen was. Keen galloped down the field for a 69-yard score and the Alumni Field crowd was going crazy with the Cougars ahead 14-0.

But Mayfield proved its resilience and fired back.  And on the ensuing kickoff, Mayfield senior Devin Jones raced down the field 60 yards to the Holy Cross 31-yard line, giving the Cardinals great field position. Mayfield senior quarterback Luke Guhy then hit Jones for a 31-yard touchdown pass. The Cardinals missed the kick and trailed 14-6.

A Holy Cross punt set up great field position for the Cardinals and it didn’t take long for Mayfield’s Jonathon Jackson to score his 15th touchdown of the year, an 11-yard rush that tied the game at 14-14.

Mayfield managed to keep the Cougars bottled up for the rest of the first half. But the Cougars didn’t help themselves, making it way too easy on the Cardinals. 

Deep in their own territory, Holy Cross quarterback Cameron Scott was hit for a loss. While he appeared to be down no whistle was blown and Scott lost the ball on the five yard line. Mayfield’s Labront Scott was Johnny-on-the-spot, picked up the ball and scored with under a minute remaining in the first quarter. Mayfield’s three straight scores put the Cardinals ahead 21-14.

A second Holy Cross fumble recovered by Mayfield set up another easy score for Jackson and Mayfield led 28-14 at the break.

The Cardinals asserted themselves in the third quarter on the opening drive. A 65-yard drive that finished with a two-yard touchdown run by junior Shain Ross moved Mayfield in the driver’s seat, 35-14. 

And things just kept getting worse for the Cougars. On the ensuing kick-off, Holy Cross fumbled and lost possession. On the Cardinals' first play, Guhy launched a pass to Devin Jones for a 46-yard score.

Six turnovers led to scores for Mayfield. More turnovers than the Cougars coughed up all season. 

Another fumble was returned for a score, as well as an interception, and the end of an amazing Holy Cross season was coming to a painful end.

Mayfield’s offense gets all the headlines, but its defense has a nose for the ball and pounced on every miscue of Holy Cross (11-2). The Cougars season ends with a 59-14 loss to top ranked Mayfield.

Eleven seniors go through a gut-wrenching ending to their season, but in an emotional locker room, they let the underclassmen know the season isn’t defined by one game. 

“It was real emotional in that locker room,” senior Clark said.  “We know that wasn’t us out there.  But we told the juniors next year it is on them.  They are the ones who got us going this year and helped us to a great season.”

Senior Pollard couldn’t have imagined an ending like this and can’t believe the season is over. 

Said Pollard: “We told the younger guys it is about them now.  We’d be nowhere without all those juniors and sophomores.  I just had to tell them, ‘don’t let it just go by because it all happens way to fast.’

 

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