Greensburg Salem no match for Hollidaysburg
There were a lot of questions surrounding Hollidaysburg entering its contest against Greensburg Salem on Friday night.
They got answered quickly — and in a big way.
The Golden Tigers (1-1, 1-1) bounced back from last week's loss to Highlands in a commanding way, defeating host Greensburg Salem, 36-6, in a Greater Allegheny game at Offutt Field.
Hollidaysburg used a no-huddle attack and a solid ground effort to keep Greensburg Salem (1-1, 1-1) off guard.
After a scoreless opening quarter, the Golden Tigers' offense hit stride in the second quarter.
Hollidaysburg struck with a 17-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Josh Bickley to receiver Ryan Waltz.
After the Lions responded with an 11-yard scoring run by Simeon Stevens, the Golden Tigers answered with an acrobatic, one-handed 62-yard touchdown catch by Waltz.
It was the closest the Lions would come.
“We were confident coming in to the game,” first-year Hollidaysburg coach Homer DeLattre said. “We knew after last week there were a lot of things we needed to do better — execution, fundamentals, tackling. We made a big improvement from seven days ago.”
The Lions had chances. Their first three possessions in the second half were inside Hollidaysburg territory, set up by long kickoff returns. They ended with two punts and a turnover on downs.
“We had three opportunities and you have to take advantage of having good field position and we weren't able to do it,” Lions coach Dave Keefer said. “Our kids know that but weren't able to get it done tonight. It wasn't a poor effort, but we just didn't execute. We had three chances there and we have to be able to finish drives to beat a team like Hollidaysburg.”
The Golden Tigers continued to finish drives.
In the third quarter, Bickley broke free for a 57-yard touchdown run. Hollidaysburg struck again in the fourth quarter on a 3-yard TD run by Colton Ruggery and an 11-yard scoring run by Reid Miller.
Miller finished with 27 carries for 127 yards and also had a key interception in the second half. Bickley finished 4 of 6 for 116 passing yards.
“They both keep improving,” DeLattre said. “They got a lot of touches tonight and helped us to really push the tempo of the game. They let us really fire away on the ground and had a very big night. It was a great team effort against a very solid opponent.”
Running back Dom McKinley carried 23 times for 136 yards to lead Greensburg Salem.
“I compliment them,” Keefer said. “They came in with a good plan to spread the football around and throwing around a lot. We prepared for it but didn't execute. We have to learn from this and bounce back quickly for next week.”
Brian Hunger is a freelance writer.