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FOOTBALL: Undersized Holly putting together win streak

   | Dan Stickradt

State Champs! Sports Network

HOLLY — The past two years, Holly had its back against the wall in terms of either making the playoffs or winning the Flint Metro League title.

The Bronchos more than stepped up to the plate on both occasions.

Holly captured its second straight win Friday, putting together a fine defensive effort in a 37-0 FML shutout of Flint Kearsley

The Bronchos (2-3, 2-3) held the Hornets to just 47 yards of offense and one first down in the rout.

“We were a little banged up to start the season and things didn’t work out the way we had hoped,” said Holly coach Ryan Culloty. “But I think we are starting to get healthy and we are playing better football.”

Johnny Williams rushed 13 times for 201 yards and two touchdowns and completed 4-of-7 passes for 72 yards, putting him over 1,000 total yards of offense this season between rushing and passing. Evin Papuga added seven carries for 101 yards.

Papuga also led the defense with eight tackles and a sack for Holly.

“Last year we had to win our last seven games in order to win the league title and we were able to accomplish that. Two years ago we had to go on a winning streak to make the playoffs and we did that,” recalled Culloty. “I think the guys understand what we are up against.”

Holly led 7-0 after the first quarter and 27-0 at the half. The Bronchos tacked on 10 more points in the second half.

Andrew Scott hauled in a 40-yard pass from Williams to put Holly in the lead for good. Scott has made an impact in the past two week for the Bronchos in his first year on varsity.

“His older brother was a good football player and a state champion in wrestling. He has given us a spark as one of the guys we can go to,” said Culloty. “We expect that he is going to be more of a factor for us in the second half of the season.

“Having Evin Papuga healthy has also been a big key for us,” added Culloty. “We’ll need him down the stretch here. We have a big game coming up this week against Lapeer West on the road.

Papuga followed with runs of 1 and 61 yards and Williams plowed home from 31 yards out in the second quarter to the 27-point advantage.

Williams added a 70-yard TD sprint in the third quarter and Austin Chumura, 4-of-5 on extra points, capped the scoring by booting a 25-yard field goal in the fourth frame.

Kearsley slipped to 2-3 overall and in the FML.

“The one thing that we have going against us is our size. We’re the smallest team in the league (height and weight wise) but we’re battling,” offered Culloty. “Kearsley walked out with all of these 6-foot-2 and 6-ffot-3 guys and some big bodies and we contained them all. We have faced teams much bigger than us each week this season and I believe that will be the case every week.

“We know that Lapeer West will be the same way. They have some very dangerous players and some good size (in the trenches),” added Culloty.”We have our work cut out for us.”      

(Dan Stickradt is Senior Editor for Digital Daily www.northoaklandsports.com and The Real Deal sports and coupons magazine, as well as a freelance writer for multiple media outlets, including State Champs! High School Sports Show website. He is a 20-year veteran sports journalist based in Oakland County, Mich. He can be reached by email at dan.stickradt@northoaklandsports.com. Follow on Twitter @LocalSportsFans.)