Before he did, he looked to the back of the huddled mass and saw someone who needed to be recognized.
“I have to give a tremendous amount of credit to Ridge Spring-Monetta,” Holland said. “They had a great game plan and they executed it very well.”
Trailing by as many as 10 points, Hunter-Kinard-Tyler battled back to defeat region foe Ridge Spring-Monetta 20-19 to win the Upper State title and earn a spot in next week’s Class A Division II title game.
Hunter-Kinard-Tyler (11-2) didn’t wait long to get on the board. After getting the ball at their 45-yard line, Jarius Jenkins rushed for 16 yards to get the homestanding Trojans into Ridge Spring territory. The next play saw Darius Hammonds take a Khaliq Anthony pass 39 yards for the first points of the night making it 6-0 with 11:32 left in the first quarter.
Ridge Spring-Monetta (7-6) marched down the field in 12 plays before being faced with a fourth-and-goal situation from the Hunter-Kinard-Tyler 7-yard line, and the Trojans eventually scored.
Carlos Fernandez’s second field goal of the night pushed Ridge Spring-Monetta’s lead to 19-12 with 2:10 to go.
After two incomplete passes, Khaliq Anthony threw the ball deep hoping to connect with one of his receivers. Instead, Hunter-Kinard-Tyler was the benefactor of a defensive pass interference call putting the ball on their 35. The game seemed to be over as Bedenbaugh snatched Anthony’s pass out of the air, but a roughing the passer call gave Hunter-Kinard-Tyler new life. Anthony’s final pass of the night proved to be the most important as he hit Walter Edwards on a 5-yard slant making it 19-18. Jenkins barreled into the end zone for the 2-point conversion.