Seminole Ridge 56, Leonard 15: Gary Holmes rushes for 166 yards, four touchdowns
Friday, October 14, 2011
by Jeff Greer
Nobody over the past two seasons has enjoyed first halves against John I. Leonard more than Gary Holmes.
The Seminole Ridge running back scored three first-quarter touchdowns to help No. 8 Seminole Ridge start fast on the way to a 56-15 victory over John I. Leonard Friday on homecoming night.
Holmes finished with 166 yards and four scores on just 14 carries. He had two first-half touchdowns and 118 yards against Leonard in the season opener last year, which was also a Seminole Ridge rout.
"The linemen, they just keep blocking their butts off," Holmes said. "They do their job, and I do mine. We do well when we work together."
But it wasn't just Holmes who dominated for Seminole Ridge (4-2). The area's second-ranked defense stifled Leonard's high-flying passing attack, forcing five turnovers while limiting the Lancers to 233 total yards.
But it took a 36-yard touchdown pass from Leonard's Adam Johnson to Nesly Ovincy to wake up Ridge's defense.
"We stuck to our game plan and settled down after their first touchdown," Seminole Ridge coach Matt Dickmann said. "We didn't allow the big play after that until it was already over."
John I. Leonard (3-4) started the season with three straight wins, riding the area's top passing offense to one of the best starts in recent school history. But turnovers have undone Leonard in recent weeks, prompting a skid that has Leonard reeling with three games left on the schedule.
The Lancers lost their district opener last week on an interception returned for a touchdown in the final minute, and with their two other district games coming in the next few weeks, a sense of urgency has kicked in at the Greenacres school.
"It's the same story: turnovers, turnovers, turnovers," Leonard coach Wayne Monroe said.
A lot of teams have struggled to stop Holmes this year. He has 606 yards and 14 touchdowns already this season. He has gotten help from fellow wingback Elie Turene and a nice passing connection between quarterback Antwan Washington and receiver Darian Williams, who had a TD catch Friday.
The Hawks' offense couldn't find a better time to round into form, with a huge district matchup with Palm Beach Gardens on tap for next week. That game will likely decide the District 9-8A title.
"We're focused on that game," Holmes said. "It's a big game for both teams. If we do everything we're supposed to do, we can win it."