By Andrew Johnson

KENT CITY – Kent City showed its big game experience on Friday in a 46-0 victory over Holton in a CSAA Silver Division showdown game.

The victory gave the Eagles their third straight conference title and 20th straight regular season victory.

“This is huge,” said Eagles head coach Bill Crane. “The last two years we won it outright, and we had a 5-1 Holton team coming in. Our kids were focused and had a great week of practice. We were locked in, even though it was homecoming, and I couldn’t be prouder to see the goose egg on the scoreboard.”

Kent City held Holton to 153 yards on the night, and Crane said the defensive showing is a credit to his assistant coaches.

“Our defensive staff led by Cameron Kutzll, Zach Gropp, Jason Vogel and Chad Dailey is just outstanding,” Crane said. “Our kids knew based on Holton’s formation what we were going to do, based on the scouting we put in this week.”

Max Hudson rushes the ball for Kent City. Photo/Leo Valdez

Kent City’s domination started early when Max Hudson punched in a 38-yard run on the first possession of the game, giving the Eagles a 7-0 lead just 1:40 into the game.

Holton attempted to respond, but eventually stalled out on a 41-yard drive which turned out to be its best drive of the night.

Five plays after Kent City took possession, quarterback John Meek scampered to the end zone on a 59-yard touchdown run, giving the Eagles a 13-0 lead with 2:26 left in the first.

Kent City then recovered an onside kick and scored five plays later on a one-yard quarterback sneak by Meek, making the score 19-0 with 49 seconds left in the first quarter.

In the second quarter, Meek found the end zone on a five-yard touchdown run to extend the Eagle lead to 25-0.

The final score of the first half came with 7.8 seconds remaining when Gio Weeks busted loose on a 56-yard touchdown run, giving the Eagles a 32-0 halftime lead.

Meek scored his final touchdown of the game on the Eagles’ first possession of the second half, when he found the end zone on a 19-yard run. That gave Kent City a 39-0 lead with 8:27 left in the third.

On the next Holton possession, Weeks intercepted a pass and returned it for a 45-yard touchdown, extending the Eagles’ lead to 46-0 with 6:56 left in the third.

The scoring barrage ended after that.

Weeks finished with a total of 154 yards rushing and one touchdown on 13 carries while Meek totaled 111 yards and four touchdowns on six carries.

John Meek carries the ball for Kent City. Photo/Leo Valdez

“The line is amazing,” said Meek about the holes he was given to run through. “I can’t say enough about them. They get the right blocks and they do everything. I have big holes to run through, and I can run far because they don’t let anyone get in front of me.”

Lane Dailey led the Kent City defense with seven tackles, including three for losses and one sack.

Holton was led by Aaron Herron, who finished with 80 yards on 14 carries while also having 13 tackles.

Kent City, which improves to 7-0 overall and 5-0 in conference play, will host undefeated Lake City next week. Holton, which fell to 5-2 overall and 3-2 in conference play, will host Leroy Pine River.

The Red Devils will need to win one more game to guarantee a playoff position for the first time since 2007.

“Pine River is on the clock,” said Holton head coach Jack Nummerdor about the team’s mindset after the rough loss. “We’ve talked about it (six wins) and we preach it in practice. It’s something that’s on their minds, but we don’t want it to be the monkey on our back, either. We just want to go out and play football.”