By Terry Boehmker
NKyTribune sports reporter
Holmes football teams haven’t had much to celebrate since winning back-to-back district titles in 2009 and 2010, but happy days are here again for the Bulldogs.
On Friday, Holmes players were literally jumping for joy after defeating Scott, 50-36, to finish on top in the Class 4A, District 6 standings. The Bulldogs needed some big plays in the second half to come away with the win, but they got the job done.
“We’ve got a group of special young men,” said Holmes coach Ben Nevels. “We told our guys they’ve got a chance to do something that hasn’t been done here for a long time. It’s great to come out and see them get this win for themselves and for our school and for our city.”
Holmes defensive players Jamir Ruff, No. 4, and Daylan Griffin, No. 24, try to bring down Scott running back Quincy Perrin. (Photo by Angie Ortwein)
Twin brothers Tayquan and Quantez Calloway played major roles in the Bulldogs’ victory. Tayquan scored three touchdowns on breakaway runs and another on a 71-yard interception return. Quantez, a first-year starter at quarterback, had one touchdown passing and one rushing.
“We showed everybody we’re not the underdogs anymore, and we have to keep doing it,” Quantez said.
After Scott took a 22-16 lead early in the third quarter, Holmes scored 28 unanswered points to open up a 44-22 advantage.
During that run, both Calloway brothers had a rushing touchdown, wide receiver Tyelon Tate scored on a 97-yard pass play and defensive end Demario Foster had a pick-six interception with 5:51 left.
Scott kept fighting and scored twice to trim the lead to 44-36. But Holmes recovered the ball on Scott’s second onside kick and Tayquan put the game away by scoring on a 37-yard touchdown run with 1:59 remaining.
“That’s one thing we talk about all the time,” coach Nevels said. “There’s going to be ups and and there’s going to be downs, but no matter what you’ve got to keep on playing. We want our guys to stay even keel and finish the fight, and that’s what we did (Friday).”
The two teams had a combined total of 1,004 yards. Holmes finished with 416 yards and the Calloway brothers provided most of it. Tayquan rushed for 203 yards while Quantez had 121 yards passing and 78 rushing.
“I told them both before the game, ‘You know, everybody’s counting us out. I think it’s time to show who the best athletes in Northern Kentucky are.’ And I think they came out and did that,” Nevels said.
Holmes (6-3) snapped a six-game losing streak against Scott and clinched its first winning season since 2012 with Friday’s victory.
Both teams have one regular season game remaining before the Class 4A district playoffs begin on Nov. 8. In the first round of the playoffs, it will be Harrison County at Holmes and Rowan County at Scott.
HOLMES 8 8 22 12 – 50
SCOTT 8 6 8 14 – 36
S — Perrin 7 run (Perrin run)
H — T. Calloway 51 run (Q. Calloway run)
H — T. Calloway 71 interception return (Tate pass from Q. Calloway)
S — Patterson 35 pass from Howlett (run failed)
S — Perrin 57 run (Perrin run)
H — Q. Calloway 18 run (Ruff pass from Q. Calloway)
H — T. Calloway 82 run (run failed)
H — Tate 97 pass from Q. Calloway (Q. Calloway run)
H — Foster 22 interception return (run failed)
S — Craycraft 49-yard pass from Howlett (pass failed)
S — Perrin 1 run (Perrin run)
H — T. Calloway 37 run (run failed)
RECORDS: Holmes 6-3, 4-0 district; Scott 6-3, 3-1.