ONALASKA — There was no stopping Drew Becker on Friday night, and that meant bad things for the Onalaska High School football team.
Holmen’s senior running back rushed for 230 yards and scored five touchdowns as the Vikings took care of Onalaska 56-29 in an MVC opener for both teams.
Holmen (2-1, 1-0) moved the ball at will, and Onalaska (2-1, 0-1) kept up for a half before faltering in a failed bid to beat the Vikings for the second year in a row.
Becker and teammate Mitchell Torud — he had 111 yards — seemed to run wherever they wanted to run in rebounding from a one-sided nonconference loss at Menomonie last week.
“The (offensive) line did a great job,” said Becker, who scored four touchdowns in the first half and another in the second. “Once I saw that alley (on the outside) the first time, I kept looking for it.”
The Vikings had 465 total yards — all on the ground — and made the difference by playing better defense in the second half.
“It’s a process,” Holmen coach Travis Kowalski said. “We’re doing some things differently on defense, and we’re getting better at it. It’s a learning process, and I think we showed tonight that we learned a lot from last week.
“Onalaska does a lot of things with motioning, a lot of things with the option. They can throw it well, pitch it, and it took us a little while to get into a groove.”
Onalaska scored three first-half touchdowns and held a lead twice. But the big plays that were made by quarterback Noah Skifton and running back Nathan Lubinsky disappeared in the second half.
Holmen scored 15 points in the third quarter and held the Hilltoppers to minus-5 yards to pull away. Onalaska ran 13 plays in the third quarter, but Skifton lost 14 yards on a fumble during one snap and was sacked by Isaac Lahr for a 5-yard loss on another.
The teams traded touchdowns throughout the first half with Becker and Skifton providing big play after big play.
Becker scored on runs of 10, 53 and 43 yards to keep the pressure on Onalaska’s defense. His 43-yarder on a first-down snap gave the Vikings a 28-15 lead with 4:40 left in the half.
Holmen had a chance to run out the clock, but the Hilltoppers stopped Kevin Koelbl short of a first down, then recovered his fumble at their own 48 with 27.9 seconds left.
It was the only time the Hilltoppers were able to stop Holmen’s offense.
“We almost made it through the game without a punt or a turnover,” Kowalski said. “If your offense can do that, you’ll win a lot of games.”
After the fumble, the Hilltoppers moved the ball to the 24-yard line on a couple of passes before calling a timeout. Skifton beat the Holmen defense to the left side and raced down the sideline to the end zone on the final play of the half to cut the deficit to 28-22.
Skifton also had a 52-yard touchdown run to cap the first drive of the game and completed a 12-yard touchdown pass to Lubinsky for a 15-14 lead with 8:42 left in the second quarter. Becker’s 53-yarder came two plays later and put the Vikings in front for good.
“The (offensive) line did a great job. Once I saw that alley (on the outside) the first time, I kept looking for it.” Drew Becker, Holmen RB