Blocked PAT sinks Cavaliers

Snapping the football may be one of the least appreciated skills in the game.

Well, you can be sure that the Hollis Brookline football team will have a solid grasp of the concept by the end of this week’s practices.

The Cavaliers had a number of faulty snaps, including one on a potential game-tying extra point, as they fell on the road to Sanborn, 14-13.

Trailing by a touchdown with about five minutes remaining in the fourth, the Hollis Brookline offense marched down the field and ultimately scored on a 3-yard run by quarterback Patch Zorn. On the extra point, the snap was a bit high, allowing the opposing defense enough time to block Cole Owens’ attempt.

That wasn’t the team’s first miscue of the game. The line seemingly had issues snapping the ball all afternoon, resulting in five fumbles (all were recovered by the Cavaliers). The team was also plagued by penalties, so coach Chris Lones wasn’t happy with his team’s lack of focus.

“Too many mental mistakes,” he said. “You can’t continue to have drives stopped by penalties. We keep doing that. Like I told the kids at the end, we’ve got to figure out a way to leave the guns on the bus and stop shooting ourselves in the foot. I think we’re a good enough football team to play with anybody if we play clean and we play good. We’re not good enough to beat anybody if we play sloppy.”

It seemed like things were going the Cavaliers way early, as they allowed only 25 yards on Sanborn’s first two drives. On Hollis Brookline’s second offensive drive, Zorn completed four passes for 47 yards, including a 29-yard touchdown pass to Scott Kroeger.

On the Indians’ next drive, an interception by Kroeger was negated following a Cavaliers penalty. Sanborn found the end zone on the next play when quarterback Christian Ehlers connected with Cam MacNeil on a 12-yard touchdown pass, tying the score.

Hollis Brookline started their following drive with 25 yards rushing, but a Zorn pass was picked off by Jonathan Sidman and taken the distance, giving the Indians a 14-7 lead.

The Cavaliers’ offense couldn’t get much going in the second half, compiling only 86 yards. The defense held Sanborn to 102 second-half yards.

“I thought our defense played their hearts out,” Lones said. “The kids are beat up and they all battle. We’re 15 deep on defense, and most of those kids play on offense too. It’s a lot of plays.”

A Kroeger interception helped set up the potential game-tying drive, and Sanborn managed to run out the clock to secure the victory.

Matt Ferenczhalmy led Hollis Brookline with 90 yards rushing on 18 attempts. Zorn finished 8 for 15 passing for 68 yards and a touchdown. On the other side, Ehlers led Sanborn with 61 yards rushing. He also completed four passes for 32 yards.

Despite the loss, Lones assured his players that the season was far from over.

“I told them, ‘your seasons not over. You’re 1-2, but your season’s not over.’

“We want to win our division. We have every chance of winning our division, but we have to play clean. We have to focus on us and what we do right and what we do wrong, and fix that.”