Nick Holt, Seattle Prep punish Eastside Catholic, 14-8
A switch from quarterback to tailback paid off for the Panthers and their 210-pound junior, who scored twice and rolled up 244 rushing yards.
Special to The Seattle Times
SAMMAMISH — It's tough enough for defenders to try to tackle Nick Holt from the quarterback position.
Eastside Catholic found out what it was like to try to stop him running with a full head of steam as a tailback.
Holt moved to tailback for the first time this season Friday night and pounded out 244 yards and two touchdowns on 28 carries as Seattle Prep beat the Crusaders 14-8.
He gained 172 yards and scored both TDs in the third quarter as Prep rallied from a halftime deficit in the Metro League Mountain Division opener for both teams.
"After halftime, I got the hang of it," Holt said.
But Seattle Prep needed more than Holt's running to secure its third consecutive victory after a season-opening loss to Mercer Island that came in the final seconds.
"We won that game with our defense," Panthers coach D.R. Clawson said. "They did a great job of shutting them down except for a couple of plays."
Eastside Catholic (3-1) managed only 177 total yards, with 88 coming on three plays.
Chevy Walker's 38-yard touchdown run gave the Crusaders a 6-0 halftime lead, but that was before Holt got warmed up.
With Seattle Prep's starting tailback, Ryan Wheatley, out for the season with an injury and a capable backup quarterback in junior Jackson Clough, Clawson made the decision to move Holt to tailback. He often lined up in the I formation behind Clough and fullback Nick Morton.
Holt, the son of the University of Washington defensive coordinator of the same name, burst up the middle for a 49-yard touchdown on the Panthers' opening series of the second half.
Later in the third quarter, the 6-foot-1, 210-pound senior pushed over his own lineman, then ran over a defender to score from three yards.
"He's an athlete. He's a stud," Clawson said. "I hope somebody wants to sign him. Maybe his daddy might want to sign him."
Crusaders coach Jason Gesser saw enough of Holt.
"They've got one guy. It's no secret," Gesser said. "They pretty much had two big plays."
Gesser called his team's offense "nonexistent," yet the penalty-plagued Crusaders had a chance to drive for the tying score in the final minutes.
Sophomore QB Trey Reynolds twice connected with receiver Jake Springfield for big gains, the first for 23 yards on fourth-and-15. But the Crusaders' hopes ended when Nate Tollner intercepted a pass and was tackled at the Panthers' 24 with 1:39 left.