On Friday (March 5), the Elks hosted the Blue Jays for their first game of the season, finishing with a lopsided 34-6. Victory.
Coach Jeremy Lockhart was pleased with his team’s performance. “It was a good game,” he said. “It was good to get back into it. It’s been too long!”
This is Elkton’s first year running a six-man football program, and Lockhart explained some of the major differences to the game; it’s his first time coaching six-man as well.
“I’m starting to get used to it,” said Lockhart. “It’s 15 yards for a first down, a field goal is worth four points. A kicked extra point is worth two points. A conventional two-point conversion in eight-man or 11-man is worth one point for a conversion, so a run or pass.”
In addition, the quarterback cannot run the ball for a touchdown, so they must hand the ball off, pitch it or throw it. The quarterback can have the ball thrown back to them, but quarterback sneaks or bootlegs are not allowed. Finally, all players are eligible to receive the ball — including the center.
Keeping this in mind, the Elks did a solid job of executing this new style of game play.
Elkton had a very strong first half, with senior running back Cooper Peters leading in scoring. Peters had 13 carries for 109 yards, as well as three rushing touchdowns — one for nine yards, and two for eight yards — and ran in a conversion for one point. Peters also threw the ball once, completing a TD pass of 13 yards. He also picked up an interception while on defense.
Also in the first quarter, senior Trystn Woody rushed for 99 yards on 13 carries and had two rushing conversions. Senior Jayce Clevenger was 9-of-17 for pass completions, with 97 yards passing and an 8-yard TD pass. Clevenger also had two fumble recoveries on defense.
Fellow senior Ben Bowen brought fire to the field with five receptions for 67 yards and two touch-downs — one on an eight-yarder scramble and another on a 13-yard carry into the end zone.
At the half, the Elks were smashing it with a score of 28-0. Both teams scored six points in the third quarter, and there were no points scored in the fourth quarter.
Lockhart was very proud of the team coming back strong after so much time off.
Game night weather was also a struggle, with the coach noting, “There was definitely some rain, so the field was pretty soppy. Conditions were not perfect, that’s for sure. But, of course, coastal Oregon, what do you expect, right? It didn’t rain in the second half, but the field was already pretty chopped up.”
Despite the weather, the new play style and having over a year off of the field, the Elks proved victorious over the Blue Jays — and Lockhart looks forward to the remainder of the season.
Elkton plays again this Friday (March 12), on the road at Alsea, with kick-off set for 7 p.m. As with all sporting events this season, no spectators are allowed to attend the game.
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