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The inaugural season of the Holy Spirit Saints' varsity football program came to a close on Friday in a 41-14 defeat at the hands of the Fayetteville Wolves. There was a point in the game when the Saints started to find life and rally, but it never really got close.

Both teams came out with slow starts offensively. The majority of the first quarter was spent exchanging punts. Holy Spirit thought they had an opportunity to get a short field when Will Collins completely flipped the filed on a booming punt that pinned the Wolves inside their own 20-yard line.

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That would prove to not be the case as Cameron Hammonds took it all the way to the end zone on a standard draw play on the ensuing snap.

Holy Spirit punted the ball again, and Fayetteville began driving. However, junior Reed Simmons recovered a fumble to give the Saints offense an opportunity to tie the game.

They went three-and-out. When the Wolves got the ball back, they made short work of scoring. Landon Payton hit Zeke Deloach for a 39 yard touchdown on just the fourth play of the drive. The missed point after try brought the game to its halftime score of 13-0.

Holy Spirit attempted an onside kick coming out of halftime to no avail. It simply presented Cadence Barrett an opportunity to punch it into the end zone two snaps later.

A disastrous Fayetteville drive ended with a bad snap to the punter being recovered by the Saints at the Wolves' 5-yard line. After an offensive holding call, Kalen Oswalt found Matthew Wilson for the Saints' first points of the night on an incredible play. The ball was nearly picked off, but instead was tipped right into Wilson's hands.

Holy Spirit attempted another onside kick and recovered. However, despite making good progress on the drive, Oswald was intercepted. A handful of plays later, the Payton-Deloach connection struck again, making the score 28-0 following a two point conversion.

Fayetteville scored again next time they had the ball. The Wolves ground their way 41 yards to pay dirt, with the final punch coming from Deloach.

Wilson breathed life into Holy Spirit once more on the ensuing kickoff, returning it all the way to the Fayetteville 8-yard line. Two plays later, Cole Glover plows into the end zone, making the score 35-14.

The final tally of the night came from Hunter Hammonds as he bounced off his linemen for a two yard touchdown.

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Neither team gets to continue its season, but both have something to hang their hat on. Fayetteville started the season off on a five game skid, losing to Verbena, Ranburne, Vincent, Isabella, and Horshoe Bend before righting the ship and winning three of their last five.

Head coach John Limbaugh said he was proud of the mental toughness his kids have shown during that turnaround.

Head coach Bobby Snyder of the Saints was in no rush to finish spending time with his seniors. He and those kids have spent years building up the Holy Spirit program to be ready to compete at the varsity level again, and tonight was the culmination of all of that.

"The seniors have been with me since when we didn't even know if we were ever going to have enough, so they knew what could happen and what couldn't happen, and they stuck with it," said Snyder as he started to get a little emotional.

It's back to the grindstone for both teams. Both Snyder and Limbaugh said their boys will be in the weight room Monday to prepare for next year's Friday nights.

Fayetteville vs. Holy Spirit

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