There was only one thing Holt’s Cole Mueller had on his mind when the Holt Indians took on GAC Central foe Fort Zumwalt East on Oct. 7. Simply to do his part to bring home a victory to honor the program’s seniors.
“I just wanted to do something special to honor the seniors because I knew that it was their last home game and that’s pretty important,” Mueller said.
Mueller accomplished that mission and a whole lot more. A 6-foot, 160-pound sophomore, Mueller had a career night that may well stand the test of time as the best single game performance in Holt High history. The Indians’ elusive, versatile tailback rushed for a school record of 448 yards and scored eight touchdowns, leading Holt to a 62-35 victory.
Mueller racked up an amazing 46 carries on the night, as he also recorded three touchdown runs of 53 yards or more, including an eye-popping 71-yard dash in the third quarter.
“We got ahead early and they [Zumwalt East] came storming back, so we stuck with him and he kept making big plays and he just kind of went crazy,” Holt coach Ethan Place said. “He had a good performance for us.”
Heading into the game, Mueller had been playing well, but nothing foretold the breakout game he would have against the Lions.
“I had no clue I was going to have a game that big,” Mueller said.
Mueller averaged 9.74 yards a carry in the Zumwalt East game and the holes on most plays were big enough to drive a dump truck through.
“The [offensive] line did an amazing job,” Mueller said. “There were holes almost every single play.”
As a freshman, Mueller was slowed down by a broken collar bone that sidelined him for nearly two months. But the recovery time allowed Mueller a chance to really focus and prepare for being the Indians lead back in replacing graduated senior Brendan Lenac.
“It kind of held me back, but it also helped because it made me able to gain weight [working] in the weight room during the offseason,” Mueller said. “It also helped me because I was able to watch a lot of film in the offseason and see where the holes are, and just sitting at practice watching the varsity and learning the offense.”
For Mueller, patience and being able to read his lineman’s block has allowed the game to really come into focus for him.
“Having patience just sets up our offensive plays so much more because we run a zone offense, so no matter how the line blocks the hole ,[I] should always be right,” Mueller said.
Place said that Mueller is a quiet, humble, even-keeled kid that leads by example.
“This year, to be a young sophomore and coming out and starting, he has come out each week and made progress and shown improvement,” Place said.