Elkton squared off against Powers for the first time in the regular season since 2017. Powers had crushed their first opponent Prospect Charter 39-6 while Elkton had also won their first game against rival North Douglas, setting up an early match-up of the unbeaten teams.
Going into the game, Elkton’s starting quarterback Conner Anderson was not available, so sophomore Anthony Alimenti got the nod to start at quarterback for the Elks.
The weather was perfect at game time with the sun shining and sizable crowds filled the stands to support both teams.
Elkton got the ball to start the game and were forced to punt after their first series on offense.
Alex Mahmoud for Powers received the punt and returned the ball for a touchdown giving Powers a quick 7-0 lead. The Elks got the ball back and were able to get a first-down run by Nathan Rausch. A few plays later Elkton faced a long 4th down but were unable to convert.
Powers got the ball back in favorable field possession and after two plays were able to score again with a 38 yard rush by Alex Mahmoud. The Elks were ready for an offensive strike. They fumbled their chance as it was recovered by Powers, who marched down the field again and faced a short 4th and goal for another score.
After Powers recovered their own fumble, setting them back five yards, the Elkton defense stood strong and stopped the Cruisers on 4th down to get the ball back. A massive scoring play for the Elks came at the hands of running back Nathan Rausch who ran the ball 85 yards for the touchdown making the score 13-6 Powers.
Powers was able to score again quickly at the start of the second quarter pushing their lead to 19-6. Elkton moved the ball to the Powers 30 yard line but was stuffed on 4th down giving the ball back to Powers. Elkton’s Nathan Rausch got a shoulder injury while on defense and did not return for the rest of the game.
After two big plays by Powers, they found themselves in a good position for another score, and Elkton almost forced a turnover. Powers was able to hold onto the ball to score again making the lead 26-6 at halftime.
The second half got harder for the Elks as the first play of the second half Powers received a kickoff and took it over 50 yards for the score making it 32-6 Cruisers. The next two offensive series for Elkton resulted in a fumble recovered by Powers and not converting on 4th down. Powers continued to roll as the third quarter came to an end and Powers was firmly in control 45-6.
The Elks tried to get a spark on offense in the fourth quarter with a fake punt but came up just short giving Powers the ball back.
Henry Fandell was able to add one more score for Powers as they pushed their lead to 52-6. The Elks refused to quit and tried to get one more score on the board before the final buzzer came. As Elkton wasn’t able to score, a nice catch by Zane Harper ended the game on a positive note for Elkton as they were defeated 52-6.
“We fought, we did the best we could with what we had, we put those guys in really tough situations. ... Let’s learn from it and move forward and see what we can do to make adjustments and just stay positive,” said Elkton Coach Jeremy Lockhart. “There were a lot of emotions going on in that game because we were getting beat up, but those kids didn’t quit. So that’s something to hang your hat on and to keep them moving forward so I’m actually really proud of the way the guys acted and tried to perform.”
Although the game against Powers was a tough loss, Elkton will look to get back on the winning side as they will travel to Riddle on Sept. 17 and get their starting quarterback for Elkton Conner Anderson back for the game.