Elkton and North Douglas restarted their rivalry for the first time since 2019, the last time both programs were in the same division.
Over the past eight years, North Douglas has had a winning record over Elkton, but the Elks had some positive momentum coming off last week’s jamboree and were ready for Friday night’s game.
North Douglas got the ball to start and had two quick passing plays that set them up for the first score of the game coming from a short run by senior Palu Rayon-Wilder.
Elkton got their first possession and wasted no time as the Elks scored quickly with a 50-yard scoring pass from junior quarterback Conner Anderson to junior Nathan Rausch tying the game at six apiece.
Onside kicks happen more often in six-man football and this strategy helped Elkton get another possession on offense. Anderson had another long scoring pass to his teammate Anothony Almanti for another score taking the lead at 12-6.
The Warriors got their second possession and saw a freshman-to-freshman combo with quarterback Wyatt Reed making a 48-yard pass to Tony Alcantar for the first down. They were primed for another scoring opportunity, but Almanti for Elkton intercepted a pass from North Douglas to end their drive.
Starting the second quarter, Elkton kept rolling as Nathan Rausch ran for 24 yards for the score making it 19-6 Elks.
Turnovers continued to plague the Warriors as they had a fumble lost and recovered, by Elkton’s Nathan Rausch. North Douglas held strong on the goal line as they prevented Elkton from scoring again in the second quarter.
Rayon-Wilder near the end of the quarter got a reverse pass and took it for 48 yards almost pulling off a huge score before half-time, but was stopped by Elkton’s defense and the Elks had a 19-6 lead at half time.
The Warriors came out hot in the third quarter showing strong defense again stopping Elkton on fourth down to get the ball back, followed shortly with two momentous plays by Rayon-Wilder, one rushing for an 80-yard touchdown. He then intercepted an Elks pass and returning that for a touchdown, tying the game 19-19.
Elkton responded before the end of the third quarter with a passing touchdown from Anderson to Almanti taking the lead back at 25-19.
Elkton came back out on offense in the fourth quarter and put up another big passing play, Anderson to Almanti again, for 83 yards for the score to increase the lead 32-19. Rayon-Wilder returned a kickoff deep into Elkton territory to set North Douglas up for a quick score coming at the hands of Rayon-Wilder, cutting into the Elks lead 32-25.
The Elks responded swiftly with two scores from Nathan Rausch pulling away from the Warriors at the end of the fourth quarter with a lead of 44-25.
North Douglas tried to mount a late comeback as they were able to get another long rushing score from Rayon-Wilder to make the score 44-32 Elkton.
With just over two minutes left in the fourth quarter and Elkton trying to run out the clock, a North Douglas player suffered a serious head injury putting a stop to the game and having EMTs respond to the scene.
After a long pause the two head coaches collaborated and decided to call the game with two minutes left, giving Elkton the victory.
“I think we were more aggressive and played harder. We stressed that in practice our conditioning was better. And that progress showed in the fourth quarter. North Douglas definitely came roaring back in the second half, and tied the game up,” said Elkton Head Coach Jeremy Lockhart. “And then we had two unanswered scores against them. By the fourth quarter, the guys were pretty winded. Our guys were hurting, but they were better than they were. So I think it was being tough, being aggressive, and conditioning that helped us win.”
Elkton will welcome Powers to their place Friday, Sept. 10 while North Douglas will travel to Prospect Charter Saturday, Sept. 11.
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