Holland Hall Celebrates State Football Crown

By Mike Moguin
GTR Sports Writer

STATE CHAMPS: Holland Hall football players celebrate for a team photo after repeating as Class 3A state champions on Dec. 3 in Edmond.

Holland Hall celebrated its second state championship back in December after it won the Class 3A trophy for a second consecutive year. 

The Dutchmen beat Lincoln Christian, 24-16, in the final. But there was a point late in the game when the contest was in question because the Bulldogs were driving for a potential game-tying touchdown.
But senior strong safety Ethan Rousch put a stop to that when he made a game-clinching interception to kill the drive with 11 seconds left.

“The key was just to stay with the deepest man because with 30 seconds left, that he was going to have to throw the ball in the end zone eventually,” Rousch said. “So I knew I had to stay the deepest and then when I got it, it was just like the perfect ending to a state title. With the game we were having before as a team, just to be able to end it with that type of play is amazing.”

What also was a relief was that prior to Rousch’s pick, the Dutchmen had made stops that appeared would have stalled LC’s drive. But costly penalties against Holland Hall allowed the Bulldogs to keep possession and draw closer to the end zone.

“Last year, they were focused on giving the ball to one player,” Rousch said, referring to Lincoln in Holland Hall’s 35-7 win against the Bulldogs in the 2020 3A final. “They definitely played more as a team this year, but I feel like their last drive was helped by penalties. Three times we stopped them on third down and they called a penalty on us and it gave them a first down. Luckily, we were able to pull it off at the end,” Rousch said. 

Key players were lost to graduation after the Dutchmen won last year’s championship. They were not expected to repeat.

“It was very meaningful because we wanted to prove our class (Class of ‘22) was so good because when we won it the first time, our seniors (Class of ‘21) were just amazing, but it left doubt for a lot of people that we could do it again,” Rousch said. “But we turned around and did the exact same thing with a whole different team. It was really good to be able to say we were able to do it as a class together.”

What fueled this year’s team was cohesiveness.

“I started playing football with almost half the senior class at a young age and I think it’s the chemistry,” Rousch said. “We have all played together for so long and we all understand each other very well and how to play with each other to where we became like one unit and we were able to win two (titles) in a row because of that.”

While Rousch made the big defensive play of the game, he was recognized as the MVP on offense. He caught one touchdown (two yards) from teammate NuNu Campell and threw for two (25, 16) others. He totaled 209 yard of offense (123 passing and 86 rushing). Just doing his job, he said, was the key. 
“The coaches always preach to us to always do your job and try not to do anything special and I really live by that,” Rousch said. “So I trust what my coaches say when they call a play. I realize what they want me to look at, so I really focus on making that read and on defense, I stay in my zone always. I just did my part.”   

With his prep football career over, Rousch will always remember the camaraderie he had with his teammates

“I know I’ve said it a lot, but people don’t understand how close a group our senior class was. We were a very close group, so I’ll remember the friendships and the brotherhood I got out of it.” 
Rousch has confidence that more titles are in store for the Holland Hall program.

“It’s going to look good,” he said. “I think we have the best coaching staff in all of high school football. I think we have a lot of talent coming up and I think our coaches can make it work. It might look different again, but it will work.” 

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