WILLIAMSBURG — 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 when he picked up a botched punt snap and ran it 15 yards for a touchdown in the first half. Holt 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. Five turnovers (three interceptions, two fumbles) and special-teams mistakes were too much for the Golden Hawks to overcome.
The Raiders improved to 5-0 overall, 3-0 in the district and play at EBF. Mid-Prairie is 2-2, 2-1.
“This is a really fun team to coach,” Williamsburg head 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 yards rushing. He averaged 200 per game.
“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 to put Williamsburg on the board with 9 minutes, 56 seconds left in the second quarter.
“It was a bad snap and the punter kind of muffed the kick,” Holt said.
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.
Mid-Prairie scored with 11:54 left in the game on Clarke Latchem’s 24-yard reception from Vinny Bowlin, plus Reinier’s two-point run. Bowlin was 14-of-37 for 160 yards and ran for 140 yards on 14 carries. Latcham caught five passes for 77 yards and Jackson Pennington four for 30. Nathan Quimby intercepted a pass while Justice Jones had 10.5 tackles.
Mid-Prairie was scheduled to go to Davis County but due to COVID concerns will travel to face Belle Plaine instead.