Pratt High football defeated Halstead on the road Friday 39-30.
Pratt High defeated Halstead 39-30 on the Dragons homecoming night, but it was not easy.
Special teams miscues by Pratt allowed the Dragons to stay close by letting them almost score on a kickoff return, failing to establish good field position, and- perhaps most importantly- letting the Dragons know they were still a part of the game.
Travis Theis got the Greenbacks on the board first at 9:17 of the first period on a 35 yd run. After getting the ball back from the Dragons, PHS drove into Halstead territory. With QB Landen Studer deftly handling the ball, Kadence Riner got into the endzone at 2:53 and PHS was up 13-0.
On the ensuing kickoff, Halstead ran it back to set themselves up for an easy TD to close to within 13-8.
PHS received the kickoff. With the Dragons crowding the line of scrimmage trying to stop the PHS running attack, Studer tossed a 65 yard TD to Kaden Evert to extend Pratt’s lead back to 19-8.
The Dragons drove into Pratt territory on their next possession, but the Greenbacks held and got the ball back on their own 20. An 80 yard PHS drive took up much of Q2. Perhaps the biggest play on the drive was a 3rd down conversion pass from Studer to Caden Blankenship. Fittingly, a Studer to Blankenship 15 yd TD pass closed out the drive. 25-8 PHS.
Halstead then drove the length of the field and scored with :33 seconds left in the half to make the halftime score 25-14.
On the Greenbacks initial possession of the second half, a variety of successful rushes forced Halstead to stack the box and Studer again took advantage, chucking a 40 yd TD to Brett Winsor. After Halstead was forced to punt again, Theis exploded for a 68 yd TD and PHS was up 39-14.
The rest of the game would belong to Halstead, however, as the plucky Dragons refused to fold their tent. Most of the 4th quarter was played in the shadow of the PHS goalpost.
The Frog special teams struggled to establish any field position, the Halstead “d” got fired up, and if it wasn’t for a Greenback goal line stand earlier in Q4, the Dragons would have been driving for the go-ahead score as time was running out.
As it was, they scored twice to close within 39-30, but PHS escaped with the win.
“Halstead played well. Hats off to them,” said PHS head coach Jamie Cruce. “Our special teams didn’t play well, overall. But our defense made some big plays.”
“At least we’re finding a way to win and playing hard,” Cruce continued. “We’re happy to be 6-0.”