By PATRICK SLACK
One was perfect, the other winless.
And it showed.
Fresh off an unbeaten regular season, Holdingford took care of business in convincing fashion in Tuesday’s first round of the Section 6AA tournament, scoring all of its points in the first half in a 40-0 drubbing.
Senior quarterback Mitch Messman led the offensive charge, completing 7-of-10 passes for 172 yards and three touchdowns while running for another score.
Senior Jeremy Springer caught two of those touchdown passes, with senior Cody Bialka hauling in a 58-yard touchdown reception.
Senior Jordan Gombos was the top ball carrier for the Huskers, running for 116 yards and a pair of scores.
“Our team was very ready for the playoffs to start,” Holdingford head coach Luke Mitchell said. “It is something our kids have looked forward to since the end of last season. They were very motivated to play.
“It was nice to get our starters out of the game early,” he said. “You always worry about injuries in football, and if you can prevent those from happening, it is a positive.”
That doesn’t mean the Huskers were overly cautious, though, sticking with a normal game plan in order to avoid any surprises.
“I do not feel we tweaked our game plan,” Mitchell said. “We tried to do things that would put our players in position to be successful. I feel we did that last night.”
Holdingford will now advance to take on fourth-seeded Pelican Rapids, which defeated fifth-seeded Osakis 49-30 in the first round, in Holdingford at 7 p.m., Saturday.
The Vikings are 6-3 on the season.
“Pelican Rapids is a good football team,” Mitchell said. “They have an explosive offense, led by their tailback (Ryan) Bruggeman. They have put up a lot of points this year. They do not throw a lot, but when they do their quarterback is very accurate.”
Holdingford 40, Staples Motley 0
Staples Motley 0 0 0 0 – 0
Holdingford 26 14 0 0 – 40
HOLD: Cody Bialka 58 pass from Mitch Messman (Jordan Gombos kick).
HOLD: Messman 2 run (kick failed).
HOLD: Gombos 8 run (kick failed).
HOLD: Jeremy Springer 22 pass from Messman (Gombos kick).
HOLD: Springer 15 pass from Messman (Gombos kick).
HOLD: Gombos 19 run (Gombos kick).
Holdingford—Rushing: Jordan Gombos: 12-116; Matt Messman: 5-44; Wyatt Johnson: 4-24; Taylor Nitz: 3-23. Passing: Mitch Messman: 7-10, 172. Receiving: Cody Bialka: 3-111; Jeremy Springer: 2-37; Gombos: 2-24. Defense: Brody Davidson: 2 fumble recoveries; Cody Bialka: interception; Jake Nelson: interception.
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