Oakridge run game steamrolls Elks

Derrick Cano (20) and Jabaar Edwards (28) were too much to handle for an Elks’ defense that was chasing them downfield all game. NICK SNYDER/CG SENTINEL

Elkton certainly wanted a win to cap off Homecoming week. 415 pounds worth of Oakridge running game had different ideas.

Despite a tight early first quarter, the Oakridge Warriors (3-4 overall, 1-3 league) defeated the Elkton Elks (2-4, 0-4) 60-20, earning their first league victory since 2015 behind 468 total rushing yards and six touchdowns from senior quarterback/running back Derrick Cano and junior running back Jabaar Edwards.

Oakridge jumped out to an early 20-8 lead in the first quarter behind their bruising rushing attack, but Elkton had the ball near the goal line with a chance to pull within one score. The Elks fumbled, the Warriors recovered, and Oakridge didn’t look back for the final three frames. Turnovers remained a bane for Elkton throughout the game.

“We shot ourselves in the foot with turnovers,” Elks’ head coach Jeremy Lockhart said after the game.  “Again, giving the team extra possessions from the kickoff. We had one [fumbled kickoff], then we threw three interceptions and we had a fumble near the goalline. So those are killers.”

Regardless of turnovers, when Elkton didn’t have the ball, they were unequipped and unable to stop a punishing Warriors’ run game.

Despite the Elks running a goal line defense nearly the entire game, 210-pound quarterback Derrick Cano and 205-pound running back Jabaar Edwards could not be contained.

“Trying to stop those two backs, man, they just bludgeoned us,” Lockhart said. “In the late second quarter, early third, our defense was a little more stout … but it seemed like we were just getting hit over and over and over. Our guys just wore down. At that point, the game was already out of hand.”

Elkton scored once more before halftime, cutting the Warriors’ lead to 42-14, but they failed to make up ground in the second half.

All three of Elkton’s touchdown passes came from different arms, with one from nominal starting quarterback Cooper Peters - also the culprit for the three interceptions - one from injured starter Jayce Clevenger, who came in during the second quarter in an attempt to boost his team’s morale, and one from Micah Cox on a halfback pass to Bruce Bowen.

Peters finished the game with 184 passing yards and Bowen hauled in 114 receiving yards for the Elks.

“I was proud of the guys. I wasn’t as upset as I was the last couple weeks because they still gave one hundred percent effort out there even though we made mental mistakes. It wasn’t a ‘hey, we didn’t show up’ kind of game,” Lockhart said.

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