On Friday (March 12), the Elks took to the football field to battle the Wolverines in their den at Alsea. Although they played a hard-fought game, Elkton’s few turnovers proved costly, allowing Alsea to edge out Elkton, 47-34.
Coach Jeremy Lockhart took the loss in stride and said he was proud of his team’s performance overall. “It was a fun game,” he said. “We just we made some critical mistakes and that’s what cost us.”
Elkton took the lead early in the game, but the Wolverines’ Aaron Sapp had a 64-yard kick return for a touchdown in the first quarter that set the Elks behind.
By halftime, Alsea was still ahead, and they managed to score the first touchdown of the second half. The Elks answered, and as Lockhart explained, “every time that they would score, we would answer — and then we had another fumble as we were going in. That really hurt us.”
By the fourth quarter, the Wolverines had scored again, only to have Alsea’s major playmaker, Owen Aldous, nab a pick six that brought the Wolverines ahead by three touchdowns.
“It went right through our tight end’s hands,” said Lockhart. “Aldous intercepted it and he ran it back.”
Aldous gave the Elks a run for their money, with 13 rushing attempts for 143 yards, five touch-downs and one conversion on the ground. As Lockhart noted, “He was tough to tackle, we just couldn’t get ahold of him.”
Still, the Elks were relentless throughout, fighting to the very end. According to Lockhart, “We bounced back again, and we scored again, so we answered every single time — but we still ended up losing by two scores.”
Despite the loss, the Elks had some standout plays in the game. Running back Cooper Peters had 19 attempts, rushing for 134 yards and grabbing an interception. Peters also had two touchdowns — one from 22 yards and another at 25 yards — picking up conversions for both.
Elkton’s other running back, Nathan Rausch, had 10 attempts on the ground and 91 yards. Rausch also had a seven-yard scamper touchdown, picking up a conversion on the ground as well in the in the fourth quarter.
Quarterback Jace Clevenger was 11-of-21 passing, including two touchdowns and 139 yards.
Both of the Elks’ tight ends, Ben Bowen and Conner Anderson, picked up touchdowns as well, both for 25 yards. Bowen also he had six receptions for 68 yards, as well as a conversion in the third quarter. Anderson had five receptions and 77 yards.
Lockhart explained that the teams were evenly matched on both sides. “The kids were really great towards each other, both sides, great sportsmanship,” said the Lockhart. “Both sides felt like they were equally matched teams. They’re well-coached over there though, that’s for sure, and they played a good game.”
In all, Lockhart came away from the game on a positive note. “I was really proud of our guys,” he said. “We fought the whole way through, and it was definitely a battle. We still have great confidence, and we feel very capable in what we can do.”
Going into the next game, Lockhart plans to make some necessary adjustments.
“We’re going to change some offensive schemes a little bit and try to make it a little easier on our personnel,” he said. “And defense, we’ll just keep working on wrapping up.”
The Elks play again on Friday (March 19), when they host Gilchrist, beginning at 3 p.m.
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