University High played a mistake-filled game in its Division II select quarterfinal against Teurlings Catholic, but running back Mike Hollins made sure the Cubs overcame them.
Hollins ran for 157 yards and three touchdowns to lead the sluggish Cubs past Teurlings Catholic 35-9 at Gill Stadium.
No. 2 seed U-High (11-0) was so dominant at the end of the regular season that its starters rarely played in the fourth quarter. The Cubs were also rewarded for their regular-season play with a first-round playoff bye, but it may have left them stale.
“There are some things we need to clean up on our end,” U-High coach Chad Mahaffey said. “Its hard enough to beat a team like (Teurlings Catholic), and you don’t want to hurt yourself. We had some positive plays taken back, and we’ve got to do better than that.”
Big plays helped the Cubs take a 21-7 halftime lead. Christian Harris scored on an 83-yard pass from John McKernon, and Hollins had a 66-yard touchdown run.
McKernon completed 13 of his last 14 passes, and finished the game 19 of 25 for 255 yards.
Seventh-seeded Teurlings (7-5) picked up a safety on a blocked punt midway through the third quarter to pull within 12 points. After the ensuing free kick went out of bounds, the Rebels took over at the UHS 45, but couldn’t move the ball.
Three pass plays netted minus-3 yards, and Teurlings punted the ball away. The Cubs then went 78 yards in six plays to regain the momentum. Hollins bounced around the right end from 12 yards out for the score.
U-High’s Michael Martin intercepted Wesley Blazek on the first play of the fourth quarter leading to a time-consuming, 66-yard Cubs scoring drive. The series used up 14 plays and 7:34 of the clock, and was capped by Hollins’ 2-yard run.
Blazek led Teurlings with 71 yards rushing.
He completed 9 of 19 passes for 98 yards, but was intercepted three times.
“The caliber of athletes their putting out on the field is a step above what we’ve got,” Teurlings coach Dane Charpentier said. “That said, I’m very proud of our kids for the way they prepared and competed. Sometimes you’re up against a program with a lot more athletes.”
U-High took a 21-7 halftime lead, but hurt itself throughout the first half with penalties and turnovers.
On their second possession, the Cubs had a 42-yard pass play nullified by an ineligible receiver downfield. They also had a 70-yard interception return by Harris called back.
In the second quarter, the Cubs had a 14-0 lead when they began a possession at the TCHS 31. It didn’t lead to points as McKernon threw an interception on the first play.
The teams then traded touchdown drives.
McKernon threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to Alex Popov before Seth Laviolette capped Teurlings’ lone scoring drive with a 2-yard run.
U-High had a final chance to extend its lead before halftime, but McKernon fumbled in the pocket at the TCHS 20.