Led by Coe, Hotchkiss cruises past Holyoke
HOTCHKISS — Two really is better than one.
Hotchkiss High School’s two-headed backfield of Ethan Coe and Jake Peterson combined for more than 350 yards and six touchdowns Saturday in a 68-26 stomping of Holyoke in the first round of the Class A 11-man playoffs.
Coe carried the bulk of the load, tormenting the Dragons with 243 yards and touchdown runs of 2, 8, 60, 10, and 43 yards.
His 60-yard rumble gave the Bulldogs a 28-6 lead and showed the senior’s ability to break tackles at the line and make open-field cuts. After making contact at the line, he plowed through two defenders and left another one grasping for air after a stutter-step along the sideline.
“They showed us a lot of different fronts and things we weren’t expecting,” Hotchkiss coach Zac Lemon said. “Our ‘A’ guys were able to adjust and respond and that’s something Ethan has been doing all year long. He runs hard and scores touchdowns.”
Coe’s rushing attack is a combination of power and speed, but Peterson is the Lendale White to Coe’s Reggie Bush. The bruising senior punished all tacklers and repeatedly dragged several bodies with him as he piled up 119 yards on 12 carries and one touchdown.
“He keys on the guy, when he gets the ball, and he runs them over hard,” Coe said of Peterson. “He knows he wants to get me into the end zone.”
Coe added that the offense was one big brotherhood and he would not be nearly as productive without his offensive line.
The first quarter of the game started out fast and never slowed. Senior Cody Richards took back the opening kick 92 yards to put the Bulldogs on top out of the gates.
The Dragons responded quickly, though. After converting a third-and-10 with an 11-yard pass on the opening series,
Dragons senior quarterback Austin Thrap tossed a 62-yard pass to junior Kyle Carper. The Dragons scored a two-point conversion and had their only lead of the game.
The Coe show followed shortly after, with Coe scoring four straight touchdowns for the Bulldogs and taking over the game. Coe had more than 170 yards rushing in the first half.
Bulldogs sophomore quarterback Ryan Spor showed his inexperience early going 1 of 4 with an interception, but the 5-foot-5 quarterback rebounded to complete his final four passes, including a 10- and 61-yard touchdowns. Both touchdown passes went to Richards, who caught four passes for 109 yards.
Surrounded by much larger and intimidating seniors, Lemon is impressed with the way the team runs behind his smaller quarterback.
“He has huddle presence,” Lemon said of Spor. “Just as a sophomore and a small sophomore, he has the respect of the entire team. Juniors, seniors, it doesn’t matter. When he’s in the huddle, things go a lot smoother.”
After allowing a touchdown on its opening drive, the Bulldogs’ defense began to pressure the Dragons’ pass-happy offense. Senior Paul Manzella led the charge from defensive end, repeatedly pressuring Thrap with a mix of bull-rushes and stunts. The senior had two sacks and five solo tackles in the game.
“He does the same thing game in and game out,” Lemon said of his explosive defensive end. “That’s nothing new. He’s averaging over two sacks a game. He’s very difficult to block as a defensive end.”
The Bulldogs faces Yuma next Saturday at home.
Granada jumped out to a 28-0 lead en route to a 51-18 victory over Dove Creek in the first round of the playoffs in Dove Creek.
Treagon Marquez ran for two touchdowns and Chris Deleon returned an interception 16 yards for a touchdown for the Bobcats.
Dove Creek’s Justin Poole ran for a score and threw for a touchdown.
Sanford ended Norwood’s season with a 48-8 victory in Sanford.