Hart and Holton football fans couldn’t have asked for a more exciting opening to the 2019 season.

The Pirates and Red Devils battled down to the wire, before Hart emerged with a thrilling 48-40 double overtime victory on Thursday night on its home field.

Hart led 14-0 after one quarter, with the highlight being a 92-yard touchdown run by quarterback Braeden Carskad0n. Holton responded with an 8-yard touchdown run by Kaleb Kitchka and a two-point conversion in the second quarter, making the score 14-8.

Hart scored twice more before halftime and led 22-8 at the break. Thomas Tanner scored one of those touchdowns with a 50-yard run.

But Holton fought back, scoring twice in the third quarter to tie the score 22-22. One TD was by Kitchka, who broke loose for a 55-yard run on the second play of the third quarter.

Tanner found the end zone on a 19-yard run and Hart led 28-22 midway through the third quarter. Carskadon added a 6-yard touchdown run early in the fourth to make the score 34-22.

Hart seemed to have the game wrapped up with a two-score lead with less than two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, but Holton again fought back. Red Devils QB Drew Trygstad made it 34-28 on a three-yard TD run, then Hawkins scored from 26 yards out with 1:13 left to tie the game up.

Holton’s two-point conversion attempt after Hawkins’ score, which might have won the game, failed on a fumble. Hart got the ball back and threw an interception, and the game went to overtime.

Holton took the lead in OT with an 8-yard touchdown pass on fourth down to go up 40-34, but the Pirates responded with a two-yard rushing touchdown.

Hart had the ball first in the second overtime and found the end zone, making the score 48-40. The Pirates sealed up the win by stopping Holton on its final possession.

Tanner finished with 106 yards for Hart, including five touchdowns and a two-point conversion run. Carskadon ran for 178 yards, including two touchdowns and a two point conversion. He also completed 4 of 9 passes for 77 yards.

No final player stats were available for Holton.