Holy Cross to host playoff game
AREA TEAMS INCLUDED: Holy Cross.
Holy Cross broke open a scoreless game in the second half to nail down an undefeated TAPPS District 3-II. Now it has a promise to an injured teammate to keep.
The Knights (8-1, 6-0) scored three touchdowns in a 16-minute span to defeat gritty Austin Hyde Park (5-4, 4-2) Saturday at Harlandale Memorial Stadium. Senior back Greg Scott scored a pair of second-half touchdowns and defensive leader Genaro Coleman accounted for another as Holy Cross snared a 20-7 victory.
On Scott’s shoes, he scrawled a message that explained Holy Cross’ mission. The Knights are dedicating their postseason to injured quarterback Cisco Flores, who was lost with a torn anterior cruciate ligament.
“We’ve got to get to state,” Scott said. “That’s No. 1 for us, so we had to win tonight. Now we’ve got to get through that first round of the playoffs. That’s what we need to do for Cisco.”
Holy Cross will play host to Arlington Pantego Christian (6-4) in a 7 p.m. bi-district game Friday at Harlandale Memorial Stadium.
“They have a quarterback, Hill Alexander, who’s all-everything for them,” Holy Cross coach Mike Harrison said. “He does it all. He’s very Cisco-ish.
“They are big, but they spread the field. They run a 3-4 defense, and they come after you with everything they have.”
Holy Cross knew that Hyde Park was a relentless, grind it out team. The Panthers controlled the ball in the first half, but didn’t reach the end zone until 3:36 remained.
“The defense stepped up,” Harrison said. “I like that bend-but-not-break philosophy. In high school football, as long as you don’t give up the big plays, you can be in every game.”
Hyde Park scored on Jack Palmer’s two-yard run. The Panthers also covered the ensuing onside kick, and put together a promising drive. However, Coleman threw Palmer for a two-yard loss from the Knights’ 17 with 30 seconds remaining.
Holy Cross ran out the clock to claim its undisputed district title.
The Knights capitalized on a muffed punt after going three-and-out off the second-half kickoff. Scott (108 yards, 21 carries) scored on a two-yard run for a 7-0 lead little more than four minutes into the half.
Holy Cross followed the game’s first touchdown with a 59-yard drive, which featured 26-yard pass from Steven Gutierrez to David Sanchez. Coleman muscled his way into the end zone from two yards out with 1:46 left in the third quarter.
A Chris Rodriguez interception led to the final, clinching Knights touchdown. Scott did the honors with a seven-yard run, 6:50 from the end.
The first half was characterized by long, but ultimately unproductive drives by both teams.
The Knights made fourth-down stops deep inside Holy Cross territory twice and squelched a Hyde Park punt attempt, which gave them the ball at the Panthers 27.
The stops came at the Holy Cross 25 with 4:32 remaining in the first quarter and at the 14 with just 14 seconds left in the first half. The Knights ran out the clock.
Holy Cross generated the only scoring opportunity in the first 24 minutes. A 27-yard field goal attempt hit the left crossbar with 7:32 to play in the second quarter.
MORE TO COME