HOLLY POND —
So close, but so far away.
That was the story for Holly Pond, which battled into overtime against Appalachian but fell just short of gaining its first win of the season Friday night at home.
Tied 16-16 at the end of regulation, Appalachian scored first in the overtime period and made a two-point conversion. The Broncos quickly punched in a score and went for two, only to come up just short by a 22-20 final.
First-year Bronco coach Mike Bates said his young team will begin looking ahead after finishing the season 0-10.
“The first thing we need to do is get in the weight room and get stronger,” he said. “But we’ve gained a lot of experience this year for our younger players. We’ve seen some good things happen even through a difficult season.”
Holly Pond got out to an early 7-6 lead in the first quarter, using a combination of hard running and effective pass plays to get down the field. But after taking the lead, the Broncos kicked off and saw Appalachian return it for a touchdown.
Nonetheless, Holly Pond quickly responded with a score to send the game to overtime.
Bates was pleased with the play of several players on the night, including senior running back Jacob Jones, as well as Kyle Corbin, Jordan Patterson, Zach Leach and Alex Diaz.
Two freshmen, quarterback Mike Lambert and receiver Dylan Morton, also enjoyed a highlight moment on an impressive touchdown pass.
“With all the young players we’ve had on the field this season, we’ll be the oldest young team in America,” Bates said. “The young players saw a lot of playing time this season, and we hope that will carry over into a positive for our team next year.”
Applachian, a Class 1A playoff contender, improved to 5-3 on the season. Holly Pond won the matchup last year, which was incidentally the Broncos’ last win.
% The Times' David Palmer contributed to this report.