By Mike Tupa
When the other team bursts out to a 35-0 lead in the opening 12 minutes, you know it’s probably not going to be your night.
That’s what Caney Valley High School’ s football team faced Friday night in a Class 2A football playoff opener at Holland Hall.
Holland Hall scored on its first possession and added another quick touchdown on a blocked punt and recovery into the end zone to go ahead, 14-0, on the Trojans.
Holland Hall (11-0) went on to win, 63-0, to advance to the next round.
Caney Valley finished at 5-6 while appearing in the playoffs for just the third time in nearly 40 years.
Second-year Trojan head coach Stephen Mitchell said his boys might have been “come out a little intimidated.”
But, he also believes Friday’s rugged encounter could become a positive in the medium and long-term.
“I really do think it’s a learning experience for us,” he said. “Next year … we can expect to build on it.”
Brandon Fogle clocked in with the most productive game for the Trojans — 74 yards rushing, 39 yards in receiving and completing a five-yard pass to Phillip Valentine.
Caney Valley quarterback Christian Colbert’s lone pass completion was the 39-yarder to Fogle.
Holland Hall had just a little too much speed and power on Friday for the Trojans.
Twice early in the game, the Trojans were in the proper defensive spot but either didn’t match Holland Hall’s quickness or didn’t a tackle, Mitchell said.
Multiple times Caney Valley drove the ball inside the Holland Hall 20-yard line only to fail to punch the ball in the end zone.
He praised the fighting spirit of his starting offensive line, which included four seniors — Christian Ballew, Trenton Haberly, Zak Foster and Caden Tinsley — and one junior — Trinton Meeks.
“My line blocked their tail off all year long,” said Mitchell.
Although he will have fill some position vacancies, Mitchell is planning on getting next year’s team ready to challenge for back-to-back playoff years for the first time in school history.