WILLIAMSBURG — On artificial turf or natural, picking up a bouncing, pointy ball is a challenge.
“It’s one of the hardest things to do,” Riley Holt said. “You’ve got to scoop it up like a scoop of ice cream.”
If so, Holt enjoyed his just desserts Friday night.
Holt picked up a botched punt snap and ran it 15 yards for a touchdown in the first half, then added a late 86-yard run to help second-ranked Williamsburg defeat Mid-Prairie, 24-8, in a Class 2A District 7 football game at Bob Murphy Stadium.
The Raiders improved to 5-0 overall, 3-0 in the district.
“This is a really fun team to coach,” Williamsburg Coach Curt Ritchie said. “They’re a little undersized, but they’re gritty and they play hard.”
Williamsburg held Mid-Prairie running back Kaden Reinier to 51 rushing yards. He had averaged 200 per game through the first three contests.
“Our defensive staff always seems to come up with a good plan against those guys,” Ritchie said.
Special teams were the difference in the first half.
Mid-Prairie misplayed a pair of center/punter exchanges, and the second one cost the Golden Hawks dearly. Holt won the race for the bouncing ball and ran it in for a touchdown to put Williamsburg on the board with 9:56 left in the second quarter.
“It was a bad snap and the punter kind of muffed the kick,” Holt said.
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Alex Marovets converted a 33-yard field goal with 46 seconds left in the half, and the Raiders took a 10-0 lead into the locker toom despite being outgained 129-94 in yards.
Williamsburg tacked on two touchdowns in the third quarter to put it away. Levi Weldon connected with Jake Weber for a 34-yard scoring strike, then — on second-and-15 from the Raiders 14-yard line — Holt took a handoff to the left side, broke a tackle or two and outran the coverage down the left sideline for an 86-yard scoring jaunt.
“There was excellent blocking on the line, a big old hole,” Holt said. “When you get a hole like that, you’ve got to find it and go.”
Mid-Prairie (2-2, 2-1) got on the board with 11:54 left on Clarke Latchem’s 24-yard pass from Vinny Bowlin, plus Reinier’s two-point run. But five turnovers, and those special-teams mistakes, were too much for the Golden Hawks to overcome.
Williamsburg finishes the regular season with a pair of road games, including a trip to Eddyville EBF next week. Mid-Prairie is scheduled to face Davis County next week at Bloomfield.
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