GAME 10:  SAINT JAMES 41, Holtville 27

HOL        0     20       0        7        27

STJ        10       7       7      17        41


STJ   (1)    9:30   Horn 27 FG                                                                         3 -  0
STJ   (1)    6:03   Smith 35 pass from Olsen                           (Horn kick)     10 -  0
STJ   (2)  10:15   Robertson 46 pass from Olsen                    (Horn kick)     17 -  0
HOL (2)    8:48   Sanders 7 pass from Thomas                     (Floyd kick)      17 -  7
HOL (2)    5:33   Salters 16 run                                            (kick failed)      17 - 13
HOL (2)    0:13   Thomas 1 run                                            (Floyd kick)     17 - 20
STJ   (3)    6:18   Robertson 23 pass from Olsen                    (Horn kick)     24 - 20
STJ   (4)    9:34   Horn 20 FG                                                                       27 - 20
STJ   (4)    8:07   Olsen 1 run                                                 (Horn kick)     34 - 20
HOL (4)    3:25   Floyd 1 run                                                (Floyd kick)     34 - 27
STJ   (4)    2:02   McMillan 7 run                                          (Horn kick)     41 - 27

November 8, 1996  Carlisle Field.    Game conditions:  Clear, windy, wet field (2" rain earlier in day)  Game Temperature:  52  Wind NW 12, gusts 24

Alan Olsen ran for a touchdown and threw for three more, totaling nearly 270 passing yards, and Jay Robertson caught nine of those passes for a school record 202 yards.  Despite the Trojans letting a 17 point lead slide away, they took control in the second half and marched to a playoff-clinching 41 - 27 area victory over the visiting Holtville Bulldogs.

Holtville muffed the opening kickoff, the first of their eight fumbles during the game on an extremely wet field, but held onto the ball.  For one play.  The Trojans pounced on the next play's fumble at the Bulldog 24.  After a first down, Saint James lost yardage on two consecutive carries and despite gaining 10 yards on a third down pass completion, they had to settle for a Keith Horn 27 yard field goal and an early 3 - 0 lead.

Holtville risked an early fourth down and one on their own 39, and it failed.  From there, four plays later on fourth and six, the Trojans were far more successful on their attempt as Olsen found Jason Smith for a 35 yard catch and run touchdown.  Horn's extra point gave Saint James a 10 - 0 lead midway through the first quarter.

The Bulldogs again failed to make a first down and punted, but Saint James fumbled the ball away near midfield.  A 12 yard run by Holtville gave them their initial first down of the game, but they later had to punt, nailing Saint James at their own 13 to begin the second quarter.  Olsen, while being tackled by a Bulldog rusher, somehow connected with Robertson for 30 yards and a big first down.  Two plays later, they connected again on a well-developed screen pass for 46 yards and a touchdown.  Horn's extra point, just one of his seven all-converted kicks on the night, gave the Trojans a 17 point lead early in the second quarter and what seemed to be the dawning of a surprisingly easy victory.

Not So Fast!  Two plays after an out of bounds kickoff, Blake Floyd, moved from quarterback to fullback due to injuries, broke loose on a 51 yard run to the Trojan 9.  On third down from the seven, Holtville finally scored on a touchdown pass to Willie Sanders.  The extra point cut the lead to a then-still comfortable ten point margin.

During the next Trojan drive, a Robertson completion for a first down was negated by offensive pass interference, and Saint James was forced to punt.  However, the snap was bobbled and the punter was tackled at the Saint James 36.  Holtville promptly completed a 17 yard pass on the next play, but the ball was knocked loose and wobbled around on wet ground for 10 seconds before the Bulldogs pounced back atop the ball three yards further downfield.  From the 16, Tracy Salters carried into the endzone on the next play, and despite a missed extra point, the momentum clearly had switched to the side of the Green as they had closed to within four points.

Saint James again drove on Holtville but fumbled the ball away at the Bulldog 20.  With four minutes remaining in the half, Holtville drove 80 yards and used almost the entire clock.  A 38 yard run and 34 yard pass reception by Sanders were the big plays, along with a pass interference penalty in the endzone with 49 seconds remaining.  Holtville had used all of its timeouts, but had enough time to run two plays; the second being a quarterback sneak by Thomas just into the endzone for a touchdown, and 20 straight points in less than 9 minutes had gobbled up a 17 point Trojan lead and turned it into a 3 point halftime deficit.

Once again, on the first drive of the second half, the Trojans moved the ball readily on the Bulldogs in the middle of the field, but an incomplete pass on fourth down and four resulted in another change of possession.  However, two plays later, Holtville returned the favor with their third lost fumble of the game.  After a five yard sack and a five yard run, Olsen sought Robertson once again, and he responded by making the catch of the season, even later confirmed by the referee's off-the-record opinion, battling two defenders for a one hand grab and a dragging foot to stay in bounds at the back of the endzone for a 23 yard touchdown.  Horn's extra point returned the lead and the momentum to Saint James.

Holtville promptly drove to the Trojan 22, overcoming a clipping penalty, but failed on fourth and ten.  A Smith run of 14 and another Robertson reception of 14 pushed the ball back to the Bulldog side of the field.  Robertson's 22 yard reception moved the ball into the red zone on the second play of the fourth quarter, but Richard Meadows, in to give Robertson a well-deserved rest, was tackled on a screen pass at the Bulldog three on third down.  Horn kicked his second field goal of the game from extra point length, and the Saint James lead was back to 7 at 27 - 20.

The Bulldogs fumbled on their first play from scrimmage after an out of bounds kickoff.  A defensive personal foul penalty inside the ten yard line was key, and on fourth down from the one, Olsen managed to sneak behind the left guard into the endzone.  Horn's extra point gave Saint James 17 straight points for the second time in the game, and a 34 - 20 lead.

After an unexpected, and unsuccessful onside kick attempt, Holtville had a short field to travel.  The Bulldogs drove to the one yard line, but a third down fumbled snap was unintentionally kicked backwards to the 12 yard line, and a fourth down pass was well defended by Saint James thwarting the drive.  A Trojan punt four plays later was returned to the 36 yard line, and Holtville added a late touchdown as they brought in Blake Floyd, now doubling as a defensive lineman with a number 51 jersey to replace one ruined earlier in the game to score on a handoff from one yard out.  However, the drive cost the Bulldogs their final timeouts of the game as the score was narrowed to seven points with still 3:18 remaining, yet Holtville could no longer stop the clock by the timeout route.

Saint James recovered the Bulldog onside kick attempt, and frustration began to set in on the Holtville side as their outside chance for a playoff berth was quickly fading.  A personal foul penalty following Robertson's final catch, which put him over 200 yards for the night, moved the ball to the Bulldog seven, and Jake McMillan, the Trojans' leading rusher for the game, took the ball the remaining yards for the final Trojan touchdown with 122 seconds left in the fourth quarter.

Holtville drove to near midfield on their final possession of the season, but Rick Fidel intercepted a pass at the Trojan 35 and Saint James ran out the clock looking toward a second playoff matchup in four years against mighty Saint Clair County on the road the following week.


SAINT JAMES   RUSHING    48 carries  183 yards   2 TDs  (3.81 yards per carry)

                          19   McMillan       12 / 87   (1 TD)      7   Smith              21 / 74            32   Meadows     2 / 34
                          21   Harris              6 / 25                   2   Sommerville      1 / - 3            63   McIntyre     1 / - 16
                          17   Olsen              5 / - 18 (1 TD)

                          PASSING     13 completions  18 attempts  0 INTs   269 yards  3 TDs  (2 sacks of, 17 yards)

                          17   Olsen              13 - 18 - 0    269 yards   3 TDs


                          44   Robertson       9 / 202  (SCHOOL YARDAGE RECORD)  (2 TDs)   7   Smith           1 / 35   1 TD
                          19   McMillan        1 /   12                 32   Meadows           1 / 10          88   Woodham    1 / 10

                          TOTAL YARDS:  452

                          KICKS:  XP  5 / 5   FG  2 / 2
                          2 POINT CONVERSIONS:  0 / 0
                          KICKOFFS:  8  (41,45,48,OB,46,OB,11,29)       PUNTS:  1  (32)
                          KO RETURNS:  5  (12,14,0,0,0)                        PUNT RETURNS:  0
FIRST DOWNS:  18  (10 rushing, 7 passing, 1 penalty)
                          INTERCEPTION RETURNS:  1  (0)
                          FUMBLES:   2, lost 2
                          TURNOVER MARGIN:  + 2
                          PENALTIES:   4 / 32
                          TIME OF POSSESSION:  26:41

HOLTVILLE      RUSHING   34 attempts  135 yards  3 TDs  (3.97 yards per carry)
                          PASSING    10 completions 17 attempts  1 INT  204 yards
                          TOTAL YARDS:  339                             

                          KICKS:  XP  3 / 4  FG  0 / 0
                          2 POINT CONVERSIONS:  0 / 0
                          KICKOFFS:  5 (44,36,23,42,14)                PUNTS:  2  (31,27)
                          KO RETURNS:  6  (3,15,18,19,0,4)          PUNT RETURNS:  1  (9)
                          FIRST DOWNS:  12   (4 rushing, 7 passing, 1 penalty)
                          FUMBLES:  8, lost 3
                          PENALTIES:  5 / 63 yards
                          TIME OF POSSESSION:  21:19