HOLLISTON – In uncharted waters amongst the Tri-Valley League football pecking order, Ashland learned a hard lesson Friday night at Kamitian Field – the road to any TVL success still runs through Holliston.
Holliston gassed the Clockers (6-1) early and often with an array of rushes that showed off the Panthers’ blessed perimeter speed, cruising to a 48-0 win to wrap up yet another TVL Large crown and carry a wave of morale into a D5 South playoff field that’s expected to be a cauldron.
“Obviously this is going to give us some momentum, you would think,” Holliston coach Todd Kiley said.
“But honestly, this group is unreal as far as staying on the task at hand. So I think, obviously it’s going to help, but it’s a lunch pail group – regardless of the score, they’re coming to work.
Holliston (6-0) finished with 301 rushing yards, led by speedy sophomore Tristan Benson (12 carries, 113 yards, TD) and junior Dylan Ibbitson (85 total yards, 2 rushing TDs).
In the first half, the Panthers racked up 173 yards and four rushing scores to take a commanding 28-0 halftime lead. Ibbitson’s 14-yard stretch left for the game’s first score was followed by an eye-opening 55-yard touchdown scamper from Benson. He took an inside handoff up an interior right-side gap and outsprinted the secondary to make it 14-0 early in the second quarter.
Benson’s score was followed by a 51-yard punt return from Mitch Gimblett that set up the Panthers’ third score, a 1-yard sneak by Matt Arvanitis . Gimblett took the ball at the Panther’s “H” logo at midfield and burst up the middle, eventually getting dragged out of bounds at the 1.
The final score of the half, a 40-yard Billy Nash jet sweep, was just as impressive. The senior not only got to the edge quickly – he out-raced several Ashland defenders for the final 35 yards, for a 28-0 advantage.
Ashland (6-1) was held to just 73 yards of offense in the first half.
Holliston capped its dominant night with defensive touchdowns on back-to-back plays to make it 48-0. Christian Schneeloch came up with an interception down the left seam and ran it back 61 yards, followed by a 32-yard Gimblett fumble return on Ashland’s very next offensive play.