After their 1-9 season last year, and the lopsided defeat handed to the Panthers by Holliday last season, area prognosticators all picked a repeat win for the Eagles in the 2013 season opener.
They still play the games on the field, however, and Van Alstyne (1-0) unleashed a potent running attack to bash the visitors 49-21 at Panther Stadium on Aug. 30.
Gouging out more than 400 yards on the ground, the Panthers overcame an early lead by the Eagles and 10 penalty calls that went against them in the first half to post the upset win.
"Early on, that’s what you’re going to see, some sloppy play and penalties," Van Alstyne head coach Mikeal Miller said after the game. "It’s something we work on and hope to eliminate."
Aided by a 15-yard penalty, Holliday started its second possession on the Panther 43-yard line. On first down, Eagle speedster Chase Duncan found a hole on the right side and raced into the end zone to give the visitors an early lead. Another penalty and a pass interception halted Van Alstyne’s next possession and the first quarter ended with the Eagles up, 7-0
On Van Alstyne’s first possession of the second quarter, the Panthers drove 69 yards, all on the ground, to light up the scoreboard. A 19-yard run by Terry Lawrence and a 36-yard blast by quarterback Alex Phillips were key plays in the march. Phillips’ big gainer moved the ball to the Holliday 3 and he punched it in from there. Matt Perez booted the first of his five successful extra-point kicks, tying the game at 7-7.
The Van Alstyne defense came up big in Holliday’s next possession as Triston Pryor jumped on an Eagle fumble at their 26-yard line. Two runs by Lawrence moved the ball to the Holliday 4-yard line before Phillips made his second trip to the end zone, giving the Panthers a lead they never relenquished.
Holliday scored late in the half to send the teams to the break with Van Alstyne on top, 14-13.
The halftime kool-aid was working on the Panthers’ side as they came out smoking hot for the second half. Another fumble recovery, this one by Matt Burge, set the Panthers up at the Holliday 40-yard line. Five plays later, a Jake Haker blast from two yards out bumped the lead to 21-13.
Van Alstyne had to overcome two penalties in its next possession but only delayed the inevitable.
A 13-yard pass from Phillips to a stretching Trey Burden was a key play in the next drive. A Lawrence run for 15-yards moved the ball to the Holliday 14-yard line. After a five-yard penalty, Phillips found Shawn Wheeler on a slant and the result was a 19-yard scoring toss, bumping the lead to 28-13.
Holliday came back, getting a 64-yard pass from Matthew Tigert to Jacob Weyrick for the score. A Tigert run for the two-point conversion cut the lead to seven.
With the performance of the Van Alstyne offensive line, that seven-point lead ballooned quicker than the interest on a payday loan. Center Will Brogdon, guards Connor Mayes and Seth Caraway and tackles Jeff Dietz and Joseph Demond, with help from Ryan Folk, were punching big holes in the Holliday defense.
A 17-yard scoring run by Kearon Redmon capped a drive highlighted by a 41-yard pass from Phllips to Wheeler.
Van Alstyne added two more touchdowns in the fourth quarter, a six-yard run by Lawrence and Donte Kehler’s five yard sweep with just over two minutes left.
That sent most of the Holliday crowd off on their long journey home. They have to get to work changing the lettering on those white jersey’s. Now the H.E.R.O means- Holliday Eagles, rolled over.
Holliday 7 6 8 0 — 21
Van Alstyne 0 14 20 15 — 49
Holliday-Chase Duncan 43 run (Jacob Weyrick kick) 8:53
VA-Alex Phillips 3 run (Matt Perez kick) 5:40
VA- Phillips 4 run,(Perez kick) 4:33
Holliday- Matthew Tigert 2 run (kick failed) :43
VA- Jake Haker- 2 run (Perez kick) 7:17
VA- Shawn Wheeler 19 pass from Phillps (Perez kick)3:12
Holliday-Weyrick 64 pass from Tigert (Tigert run)2:54
VA- Kearon Redmon 17 run( kick failed) 1:02
VA -Terry Lawrence-6 run (Dalton Jones pass from Phillips) 7:34
VA-Donte Kehler 5 run (Perez kick) 2:05
Holliday Van Alstyne
First downs 8 22
Rushes-yards 16-132 62-411
Passing yards 150 127
C-A-I 9-22-2 7-13-2
Punts-average 6-39 3-28
Penalties-yards 5-35 13-93
Fumbles-lost 2-2 0-0
Rushing- Holliday:Chase Duncan 5-61,Matthew Tigert 4-30,Logan Allen 2-28,Levi Draper 3-18, Dalton Matz 2 (-5) VA-Terry Lawrence 20-151, Alex Phillips 20-131,Jake Haker 6-49, Bryce Moody
8-45, Kearon Redmon 2-19,Donte Kehler 5-6.
Passing-Holliday:Tigert 8-21-2(125 yds),Duncan 1-1-0 (25 yds). Van Alstyne:Phillips 5-13-1(125) Bryce Moody 1-1-0 (10)
Receiving- Holliday: Wyerick 2-77,Tyler Martindale 3-39,Allen 1-25,Andre Edgin 3-9.Van Alstyne
Shawn Wheeler 3-84,Trey Burden 2-20,Kearon Redmon 1-13, Kehler 1-10.
September 6 Schedule
Van Alstyne at Melissa
Chisum at Howe
Pottsboro at Gunter
Dallas Life at Sunnyvale
Cooper at Commerce
Edgewood at Caddo Mills
Farmersville at Krum
Standings Dist. Year PF PA
Van Alstyne 0-0 1-0 49 21
Howe 0-0 1-0 9 5
Sunnyvale 0-0 1-0 42 7
Commerce 0-0 1-0 42 25
Pottsboro 0-0 1-0 20 9
Caddo Mills 0-0 0-1 25 28
Farmersville 0-0 0-1 7 42