After enduring eight consecutive years with losses to Elmore County, Holtville turned to its power rushing game to get it over the top in the series. Kolby Potts, who was playing his first game in the series, led the way and finished with 138 yards and four touchdowns on the ground.
Potts is the Elmore County Player of the Week.
“I want to give all of the credit to my team,” Potts said. “We came out and played for each other and played a team game and that showed on the scoreboard.”
With Elmore County holding a one-point lead and threatening to extend its lead, Holtville’s Garrett Ingram intercepted a pass and returned it inside the Panthers’ 25-yard line. The Bulldogs turned to Potts from there as he capped the drive with back-to-back 8-yard rushes, the final one giving Holtville a 13-7 lead.
The Panthers retook the lead before halftime but Holtville wasted no time to get back in front in the second half. The Bulldogs started their first drive of the third quarter at the Elmore County 43-yard line. Potts ran the ball on all four plays of the drive and finished with a 17-yard touchdown run to puts Holtville ahead for good.
“That was an emphasis this week,” Holtville coach Jason Franklin said. “We had left probably 12 trips inside the red zone up until tonight where we came away unsuccessful. We focused this week with finishing drives. We can’t leave those points out there.”
Potts made sure the Bulldogs got points at every opportunity as he added two more touchdowns from within 5 yards behind Holtville’s heavy package.
“I really don’t feel the momentum for myself,” Potts said. “That was all my offensive line right there. They were blocking for me. This is a team sport so I couldn’t do it without them.”
Potts did work outside of the backfield as well, nearly breaking a punt return for a touchdown before being tripped up at midfield after a 32-yard return. Potts also played a majority of the defensive snaps, recording five tackles and helping to limit Elmore County to negative-6 yards in the second half.
“We went in and focused on those misdirection plays,” Potts said. “People were trying to do too much instead of just doing our jobs so we got that fixed and came back out to do the little things right to help us.”
Holtville turned to Drew Pickett and Drake Baker in the rushing attack when Potts needed a breather. The two combined for 87 yards on the ground. Potts said that helps him stay fresh on the sideline despite playing on both sides.
“He’s a team player,” Franklin said. “The one thing I saw from (Potts) that you don’t see from a lot of kids. When Drew goes in there on the last drive, his biggest cheerleader over there is Kolby Potts. He wants him to be successful. That’s the biggest thing right now.”