BROOMFIELD — Holy Family coach Mike D. Gabriel admitted in the preseason that the one question mark on his team might be defensively.
In Week 1, the Tigers gave up 47 points, but luckily their high-powered no-huddle offense bailed them out with 66 points.
On Friday night, No. 3 Holy Family surrendered 440 rushing yards to No. 8 Discovery Canyon and squandered a 20-17 halftime lead in a 44-28 loss to the Thunder at Mike G. Gabriel Stadium.
“It’s early and it will be fixed,” coach Gabriel proclaimed. “And there were a lot of mistakes outside of the defensive side of the ball.
“The defense, for what we were put into situation-wise, did a good job. You can’t have the miscues that we did with special teams and some of the other things we did wrong and hope to have the defense bail you out.”
One week after giving up two kickoff returns against Mountain View in the season opener, the Thunder’s Blake Lawrie made the Tigers relive the nightmare again to start the second half. He went 65 yards to give Discovery Canyon the lead for good, one they would build on dramatically in the third quarter — one they were outscored in 27-0.
“That was hard because that was one of our key focuses going into the second half, to try and continue to keep the momentum,” Gabriel said. “We felt like if we got up another score, maybe two, it puts them in a bad situation because they don’t throw the ball very often.”
The aforementioned momentum for the high-powered Tigers offense, which spotted Discovery Canyon a 14-0 lead, got the break it needed on a fourth-and-42 punt from its own end zone. Quarterback/punter Chris Helbig was roughed up by the Thunder defenders and the Tigers had new life.
Two plays later, Helbig connected with Bryce Buderus for an 89-yard score and the offensive machine was rolling.
Holy Family, which struggled in the first quarter, going fumble-punt-punt and a turnover on downs in its first four possessions, would tack on two more touchdowns in the final 1 minute, 10 seconds of the second quarter to go to the break with the lead.
Discovery Canyon’s three-headed monster in the backfield of Alex Weber (132 yards), Spencer Chambers (121 yards) and Scott Betzer (73 yards) combined to pound out over 300 yards between them and in the process wear down the Tigers defense rather systematically.
All three backs would find the end zone in the third quarter — Chambers from 13 yards out, Weber from five and Betzer from three.
In stark contrast, the Tigers managed a total of just four yards on the ground all night.
Helbig did finish the game with 466 yards passing and four touchdowns, but was picked off twice and one of those was in the end zone. Buderus finished with seven catches for 196 yards and Chanson Segeth had 113 yards on four catches.
It doesn’t get any easier for the Tigers next week, when the host No. 5 Palisade on Friday night. But Gabriel wouldn’t have it any other way.
“We are going to see Discovery again, and believe me I’d like to play them again, because on a different night, it might be a different outcome,” he said. “This is what we wanted and we are getting all we want.”
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Discovery Canyon 44, Holy Family 28
At Holy Family
Discovery Canyon (2-0) 14 3 27 0 — 44
Holy Family (1-1) 0 20 0 8 — 28
Discovery Canyon — Andrew Hall 40 run (Mitchell Carter kick).
Discovery Canyon — Scott Betzer 15 run (M. Carter kick).
Holy Family — Bryce Buderus 89 pass from Chris Helbig (kick failed).
Discovery Canyon — FG M. Carter 44.
Holy Family — Chanson Segeth 20 pass from Helbig (Ryan Younggreen pass from Helbig).
Holy Family — Younggreen 67 pass from Helbig (pass failed).
Discovery Canyon — Blake Lawrie 65 kickoff return (M. Carter kick).
Discovery Canyon — Spencer Chambers 13 run (M. Carter kick).
Discovery Canyon — Andrew Weber 5 run (M. Carter kick).
Discovery Canyon — Betzer 3 run (kick failed).
Holy Family — Segeth 47 pass from Helbig (Younggreen pass from Helbig)
RUSHING — Discovery Canyon: Alex Weber 21-132, Spencer Chambers 7-121, Andrew Hall 10-78, Scott Betzer 9-72, Blake Lawrie 6-21, Matt Call 3-13, Jacob Vonloh 1-3; Holy Family: Ryan Younggreen 9-4, Mitchell Zeman 3-1, Matt Durnford 1-1, Chris Helbig 9-(minus 2).
PASSING — Discovery Canyon: Andrew Hall 0-3-0-1; Holy Family: Chris Helbig 18-43-466-2.
RECEIVING — Discovery Canyon: None; Holy Family: Bryce Buderus 7-196, Chanson Segeth 4-113, Joey Golter 3-41, Ryan Younggreen 2-77, Weston Dinsmore 2-42.