During Friday’s matchup with Rogersville, the Hollister Tigers had a shot at history.
A win would have garnered the program’s first-ever 3-0 start in only its seventh season; however, thanks to a bevy of miscues, penalties and a potent Wildcat offense, history will have to wait.
Behind Bronson Tavenner and Jaytin Gutierrez, Rogersville downed Hollister 25-14.
The Rogersville duo combined for 207 yards on the ground and all four of the Wildcats’ touchdowns.
After a three-and-out on his first series, Tavenner quickly regrouped on the sidelines.
On the next series, the Rogersville quarterback engineered a 70-yard drive that ended with a 23-yard Tavenner keeper for the game’s first score.
Late in the second, Tavenner found the end zone again, this time on a 5-yard run.
The junior was quick to praise both his line and running back Gutierrez for the team’s early success.
“On the ground, our team did a really good job,” Tavenner said. “The Q-counters were good, and Jaytin did a really great job running those counters. We just did a great job executing.”
While Hollister’s offense was able to move the ball in the first half behind quarterback Jackson Bekemeier, running back Hayden Walton and receiver Brian Calovich, turnovers and penalties repeatedly stalled would-be scoring drives.
Rogersville continue to build on its offensive success in the second half, with Gutierrez taking over on the ground.
The senior running back found the end zone twice, on runs of 5 and 56 yards, respectively. Gutierrez would finish with 165 yards on 18 carries.
Rogersville head coach Doug Smith was pleased with his team’s effort on the road against a hungry team on a roll, especially with the Wildcats forced to start two junior varsity tackles due to injuries.
“I knew [Hollister] was going to play with a lot of confidence,” Smith said. “We had two injured tackles, but Jaytin is just a man-child. I thought our line did a really good job with the two young tackles in there.”
For Hollister and head coach Jacob Hamon, the game served as a good teaching moment for a program still building its own roots.
Instead of laughing and cutting up on the sideline after losses as in years past, Hamon noticed anger and disappointment throughout his team, which battled until the very end. In the locker room, he spoke with about playing through adversity.
“Everything this year has gone our way,” Hamon said. “The minute it didn’t, we kind of took a step back. We didn’t learn from our mistakes, and we kept making them. This just can’t be, ‘Hey, we’re the 2-0 Tigers.’ We’ve got to go step by step, week by week and play by play to put things together the right way.”
Up next for Rogersville (2-1) is a home matchup with Reeds Spring, while Hollister (2-1) hosts Bolivar.
Varsity Final: Rogersville – 25, Hollister – 14
Rogersville 7 6 6 6 — 25 Hollister 0 0 0 14 — 14
First quarter scoring
Rogersville – Bronson Tavenner 23-yd TD rush (Chelsey McDonald kick) 7 – 0 Second quarter scoring
Rogersville – Tavenner 5-yd TD rush (PAT missed) 13 – 0
Third quarter scoring
Rogersvile – Jaytin Gutierrez 5-yd TD rush (2-pt conversion failed) 19 – 0
Fourth quarter scoring
Hollister – Hayden Walton 2-yd TD rush (PAT missed) 19 – 6
Rogersville – Gutierrez 56-yd TD rush (PAT missed) 25 – 6
Hollister – Logan Armitage 35-yd TD rec from Jackson Bekemeier 25 – 14 (Bekemeier 2-pt conversion rush)