The Holy Catholic Football team is built on tradition. Their Sept. 30 match-up against the Esko Eskomo’s at Holy Family Catholic High School was no exception.
The game began with the team serenading the crowd by singing the national anthem and ended with them furthering their most recent, but also most important tradition; winning at home behind explosive quarterbacks.
The catalyst behind it was senior quarterback, kicker, punter, and defensive back Michael Roane.
Roane, a starting cornerback on last year’s dominant Fire team that made it to the state championship, is in his first year as the starting quarterback.
Roane pounded the defense with both his arm and his feet in the 41-33 victory, delivering a key touchdown run in the third quarter to pull Holy Family ahead of the Eskomos. A lead they wouldn’t give up.
Roane has been a quarterback since fourth grade but is new to being a starter at the varsity level. To prepare for the season, he focused on honing his skills in order to lead the Fire.
“I worked with a couple professional quarterbacks [this offseason] just throwing the ball, learning better footwork,” said Roane, “and just playing catch and working as hard as I can.”
The effort is clear, but so is the passion.
“I’ve always wanted to kick and also play quarterback,” said Roane, who booted five extra points and took care of kickoff and punting duties during the game. “It’s a lot of fun, but it’s a lot of work. I wouldn’t do it any way else, though.”
The work, according to Fire coach Dave Hopkins, has paid off handsomely.
“He is really a promising college prospect,” Hopkins said. “Absolutely a weapon at quarterback.”
The Fire have now won 21 consecutive games on their home field, but late in the second half Friday it appeared they were on upset alert.
Roane and his teammates wouldn’t let that happen as they charged back in the second half to take the lead with some dazzling special teams, and a forceful running attack.
“We just kept our heads up,” Roane said of the mindset at halftime. “We knew we could come back on this team.”
Roane’s energy was electric on homecoming night at Holy Family, and it was clear why.
“Well it’s a lot about pride,” Roane said. “It’s been three years since we’ve lost on this field and we’re just trying to keep that tradition going and pass it on to the younger kids.”
Holy Family Catholic moved to 5-0 on the season, and is eyingb another trip to the Metrodome.
“We have a great team, we’re always working hard,” Roane said. “If we keep this up, we can make it a long way.”
It's certainly part of their tradition.
--Walker Orenstein, MN Football Hub Staff
After trading points for most of the first and second quarter, Holy Family Catholic turned the game in its favor with an 83-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by senior Tommy Hanson.
For the remainder of the game, it was all Holy Family. The Fire would go on to score three unanswered touchdowns, with Hanson bringing it again on a 33-yard punt return.
Esko would rally late in the fourth quarter with touchdowns by Max Reinertsen and Corey Kolkin, but they came up one touchdown shy, as Holy Family Catholic extended its season winning streak to 5-0.
Holy Family Catholic quarterback Michael Roane piled up 170 yards to help propel his team to a 41-33 victory.
Coming up short, was the duo of quarterback Max Reinertsen and receiver Zach Crowe. They connected all night and kept the team in the game.
-- Jennifer Brook, MN Football Hub staff
1. Michael Roane, Holy Family Catholic
The 6-foot-2, 182-pound senior quarterback/defensive back stole the spotlight and led his team to its fifth victory, with nine completed passes for 115 yards. So far this season, he has amassed more than 500 yards rushing and 500 yards passing, putting him on pace for more than 1,000 yards in each category on the year.
2. Max Reinertsen, Esko
Never did a No. 2 star look so good. The 6-foot-1, 165-pound senior quarterback carried his team on his back and almost singlehandedly kept the opposition from rolling over his team.
3. Zach Crowe, Esko
Crowe was peanut butter to Reinertsen’s jelly, and the go-to receiver for his quarterback. The 6-foot-2, 180-pound senior scored a touchdown and had his best game so far this season.
-- Jennifer Brook, MN Football Hub staff