It wasn't exactly like Babe Ruth hitting home runs for hospitalized boys, but it was close enough.
During the pre-game warmups Friday before Nikiski's 32-6 thumping of Skyview to celebrate homecoming, Steve Holloway asked his son, Bulldogs wide receiver David, if he would catch a pair of touchdowns as a birthday present for his father.
"Sure," David replied. "Why don't I make it three?"
Steve then settled into his role as the game's play-by-play man for KSRM and watched as David caught touchdown bombs of 44, 68 and 72 yards in the first 12 minutes, 18 seconds of the game.
"It was over before we knew it," Skyview coach Wade Marcuson said. "They found our weakness and once a good team does that, they'll exploit that weakness until they've beaten you."
All those touchdown tosses were delivered by junior quarterback Josh Reilly, who finished 12-of-21 for 295 yards to help Nikiski up its record to 5-0.
The icing on his Steve's birthday cake was the two first-half interceptions Holloway had to all but end the nonconference contest with the Panthers before it started. The Skyview offense had four interceptions and one lost fumble on the day.
"It was pretty hard to contain my excitement during the broadcast," Steve said.
But not as hard as it was for the Panthers to contain Holloway, a 6-foot-0, 160-pound wide receiver who has little problem dunking a basketball. He finished with eight catches for 232 yards.
"We tried three different (defensive backs) in there covering him," Marcuson said after his team fell to 2-3. "Give Reilly and Holloway credit. They beat us."
Bulldogs coach Scott Anderson said the Reilly-Holloway combination can be pretty tough to stop once it gets rolling. In a game earlier this season, Holloway had four touchdown grabs, with three coming from Reilly.
"Josh had all day back there," Anderson said. "He had four or five seconds to pass. The offensive line did a great job."
Reilly, who completed his first seven passes of the game and also had a 1-yard touchdown run, said most games he goes back to pass he can expect to get hit. This game, he said he usually didn't get hit on passing plays.
With Reilly getting great protection, he and Holloway could put to use the patterns they stayed after practice each day this week to work on.
Nikiski's Josh Reilly makes tracks across Skyview's Chris Rice as Ron Winger makes the tackle during Friday's game.
Photo by M. Scott Moon
"The coaches told me early this week that we were going to air it up more," Holloway said. "They thought we could get some big plays."
When the Bulldogs needed to, they also made some things happen on the ground. Ryan Crumpacker led all rushers with 57 yards, while Josh Winters had a 1-yard touchdown run.
Skyview can take some solace in the fact that its offense did a decent job moving the ball and that after falling behind 26-0 after two quarters the Panthers played the Bulldogs 6-6 the rest of the way.
"One thing I liked about tonight was we didn't give up once we were down 26-0," said Skyview senior Stryder Reilly, who led Skyview's ground attack with eight rushes for 43 yards. "We played the second half like it was 0-0."
Marcuson said he was pleased with the play of interior offensive linemen Chris Rice, Ryan Staab and Will Howard. He also liked the way Trevor Tompkins filled in at linebacker.
BULLDOGS 32, PANTHERS 6
Skyview 0 0 0 6 --6
Nikiski 14 12 6 0 --32
Nik -- Holloway 44 pass from Reilly (Seater kick), 7:10
Nik -- Holloway 68 pass from Reilly (Seater kick), 1:57
Nik -- Holloway 72 pass from Reilly (kick failed), 11:42
Nik -- Winters 1 run (pass failed), 8:17
Nik -- Reilly 1 run (kick failed), 5:26
Sky -- Mallett 30 pass from Evanson (run failed), 10:56
First downs 12 11
Rushes-yards 38-88 41-129
Passing yards 79 295
Return yards 27 15
Passing 5-16-4 12-22-1
Punts-avg 3-35 1-6
Fumbles-lost 2-1 2-1
Penalties-yards 7-55 8-55
Rushing -- Skyview: Reilly 8-43, Endsley 17-36, Maxwell 4-25, Evanson 6-(-11), Leach 3-(-5). Nikiski: Winters 7-22, Crumpacker 12-57, Allen 5-14, Alexander 5-18, Reilly 8-16, Tauriainen 1-4, Brigham 3-(-2).
Passing -- Skyview: Maxwell 2-6-3-40, Evanson 3-10-1-39. Nikiski: Reilly 12-21-1-295, Holloway 0-1-0-0.
Receiving -- Skyview: Leach 1-19, McGarry 1-21, Evanson 1-(-1), Mallett 2-40. Nikiski: Alexander 1-7, Holloway 8-232, Winters 1-13, Roofe 1-27, Hall 1-16.
Missed field goals -- Seater (short).
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