By BUDDY TABLER
Special to the Tribune
HOLCOMB — It was a game of missed opportunities and frustration Friday evening for the Larned Indians as they were shut out 36-0 by the Holcomb Longhorns in a Class 4A District football game.
Seven Larned turnovers and 101 yards in penalties negated 313 yards total offense for the Indians. Holcomb intercepted three passes and Holcomb recovered four Larned fumbles, including one at the Longhorn 4-yard line.
“It was a frustrating game,” said Larned coach A.B. Stokes. “We had numerous scoring opportunities but mistakes, fumbles and penalties kept preventing us from scoring. We’ve got to do better. We will work on these things and we will get better.”
The Indians will still make the 4A playoffs with two wins. Larned (3-4, 0-1) will play Hugoton (3-4, 1-0) at home Oct. 23. Hugoton upset Pratt 14-7 Friday on Parker Titus’ touchdown pass from Victor Degallado. Holcomb (5-2, 1-0) plays Pratt (4-3, 0-1) Oct. 23.
Larned outrushed Holcomb by gaining 178 yards in 46 attempts, led by Landon Erway’s 148 yards on 22 rushes. Quarterback Evan Skelton completed 9 of 16 for 135 yards, but was intercepted three times by the deft Longhorn secondary.
Larned punted on its first drive and Holcomb moved 49 yards for an opening score. They quickly moved into scoring position and with 8:53 remaining in the first quarter Trey Teeter connected on a 27-yard touchdown pass to Christian Merz. Off of a fake kick, Dillon Williams ran for a 2-point conversion for an 8-0 lead.
Larned answered with several first downs and Evan Skelton connected on a 35-yard pass to Tanner Galliart to the 4-yard line. But while struggling to score, Galliart fumbled and the Longhorns recovered.
In the second quarter behind their stiffening defense Larned began to control the action. The Indians’ Landon Erway ripped off a 52-yard run to the Holcomb 18-yard line. Skelton was stuffed for a 1-yard loss on fourth-and-1 and Holcomb ended another Larned threat.
Larned ended another Holcomb threat by recovering a Braden Showalter fumble on its own 34-yard line. But just a few plays later Holcomb’s Tristen Dortch recovered a fumble, ending the third scoring threat of the half by the Indians.
A controversial pass interference call against Larned wih 3:52 remaining set up the next Holcomb scoring threat and Christian Merz caught a 20-yard pass, moving the Longhorns to the 6-yard line. Running back Dillon Williams then blasted into the end zone with 2:42 remaining and Teeter’s kick moved the halftime score to 15-0.
A fired up Indian defense forced a three-and-out from the Holcomb offense, but on 4th-and-7, a high snap went over Larned’s punter David Valadez and Holcomb took over on the Larned 27. Holcomb made Larned pay for that mistake as with 7:55 remaining, Bradewn Showalter scored on and end-around for a 6-yard touchdown. Following a Teeter kick the Longhorns had pushed their advantage to a commanding 22-0.
With only 24 ticks left on the clock in the third quarter Holcomb’s Dillon Williams scored on a 6-yard run and the Longhorns moved their side of the scoreboard to 28-0. The final score of 36-0 was produced on a touchdown pass of 9 yards from Teeter to 6-6 Conner VanCleave with 2:33 remaining.
Holcomb had 167 yards rushing and Trey Teeter completed 11 of 18 attempts for 153 yards.
HOLCOMB 36, LARNED 0
Larned 0 0 0 0 — 0
Holcomb 8 7 13 8 — 36
H—Christian Merz 27 pass from Trey Teeter (Kaden Tichenor run), 8:53
H—Dillon Williams 1 run (Teeter kick), 2:42
H—Braden Showalter 6 run (Teeter kick), 7:55
H—Williams 6 run (kick failed), 0:24
H—Connor VanCleave 9 pass from Teeter (Stegman pass from Teeter), 2:33
RUSHING—L, Erway 22-148, Baker 10-61, Skelton 13-18.
PASSING—L, Skelton 9-16-3, 135.
RECEIVING—L, Perez 4-44, Galliart 3-46, Baker 1-5, Nolde 1-35