SALT LAKE CITY — Luke Hollingsworth didn't have time to feel bad about his fumble.
The senior tight end also plays defensive tackle for the Fremont Silver Wolves, and he had a job to do.
"It really is (frustrating)," said Hollingsworth of the three Fremont fumbles and three interceptions in the Silver Wolves' 21-14 overtime victory over Syracuse in the 5A semifinal Friday at Rice-Eccles Stadium. "Especially after I turned it over on offense. I knew I'd have to make a big play to make up for it."
And that's exactly what Hollingsworth did when he had a key sack that helped Fremont keep Syracuse from scoring on their last possession in regulation.
"It's important to stay positive," the senior said. "You fix turnovers in practice. We had to stay together and not dwell on the bad things. We had to come back strong."
Fremont's defense, especially the linemen, played extremely tough. The defense held a hard-driving Syracuse squad to 84 yards rushing, while their offense managed 204 yards rushing.
"We talk a lot about adversity and fighting through it," said defensive lineman Jake Gallegos. "We had to get back out there and get the ball back."
Regardless of the frustration felt by any of the Silver Wolves, they said they practice every day to deal with untenable situations.
"There is no point in sitting there and being mad when we have to go out there and get the ball back," said Gallegos. "We're a team. We don't get frustrated at each other."
Fremont head coach Kory Bosgieter said the team is successful on defense because his players aren't afraid to work.
"We have great kids," he said pointing out that 19 of the 83 players had a 4.0 GPA. "They're blue-collar guys and hard workers."
Bosgieter said Hollingsworth definitely makes his mark on defense.
"Especially his last two sacks," said Bosgieter of Hollingsworth's impact. "He's been solid all year on our D-line. He's a high motor guy who just plays his guts out. You watch the film, and you're just going, 'Wow, how did he get to there and make that play?'"
Fremont's defensive coordinator Ross Arnold said the reason the team plays so hard on defense is because it's always been an expectation.
"We watch film, and we count loafs," Arnold said. "And then we run it out of them."4 comments on this story
The players take more pride in their defensive contributions. When the Silver Wolves lost the ball with just a few minutes to go and a 14-14 tie, they knew it was time for their defense to shine.
"They're a good team," said Gallegos. "I was a little worried, but I have faith in our defense. I knew we would come through."