Holy cross

Holy Cross wows reunion crowd with 49-point win over Pearsall

Holy Cross has found a home, and it’s right in his own backyard.

The Knights, who crushed Pearsall 49-0 on September 17 in their return game, have played home games at Harlandale Memorial Stadium and Wheatley Heights Sports Complex in recent seasons. Holy Cross coach Mike Harrison said plans to play at the school this year came to fruition quickly between late April and late July after the school received a donor gift.

“Alumni come to see the campus,” said Harrison, who is in his 16th year as a Holy Cross coach. “We are making money. It was really a source of pride for the community. It has been incredible.

Against Pearsall, Holy Cross entertained the reunion crowd with 28 points in the first quarter.

“It gives us the opportunity to play for our fans,” said Holy Cross senior wide receiver Tye Phillips, who transferred from St. Anthony. “It’s like we’re playing for our school. When we were playing (at other places) it didn’t look that much like this. “

A punt return, an interception and a fumble recovery gave the Knights a 21-point lead with 4:56 left in the quarter. Xavier Garza returned an 85-yard punt into the end zone less than 2.5 minutes into the out-of-district game.

“We started strong tonight,” said Phillips. “We have improved a lot. We have become more comfortable with our quarterback. We were just trying to play games.

Junior fullback Joe-Angel Perez (146 yards, 15 attempts) scored the Knights’ next two touchdowns on 10 and 17 yard carries, respectively.

Quarterback Gilbert Alvarado (11 of 16, 173 yards) flew off for Holy Cross’s next two touchdowns. Alvarado is Harrison’s first freshman starting quarterback in 34 years as Harrison’s head coach.

“He’s a pretty special kid,” Harrison said. “He rose through the ranks and worked hard. His father (Gibby) is a great addition to our staff.

Alvarado threw touchdown passes to Phillips as time ran out in each of the first two quarters. A 15-yard player in midfield made it 28-0.

The Knights didn’t score again before time ran out in the first half, on a 30 yard yardage from Alvarado to Phillips.

“It was a road to go,” Phillips said. “I mainly used my speed. (The defender) was playing too close, so I knew I could pass him. (Alvarado) put it where I needed it.

Holy Cross closed the win with a pair of third quarter touchdowns. Alvarado joined Garza on a 55-yard shot with 9:39 left in the quarter. Perez scored for the third time on a seven-yard run at the 2:16 mark.

“It was probably our most competitive game of the year,” said Harrison. “That’s good because we’re going to have the toughest three-game series since I’ve been here.”

The Knights lost 42-0 to Grapevine Faith Christian on September 23 at Mary-Hardin Baylor University in Belton. Next come New Braunfels Davenport on September 30 and TAPPS Division III No. 1 Shiner St. Paul on October 8.

The Pearsall game was Holy Cross’s third game in the limelight at the Friendly Boundaries of San Felipe Avenue since 1958 (Holy Cross has only played daytime games on campus in the meantime).

Additional stands, a press stand and an all-season track are under construction.