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Algona 49, ELC 22 Midgets fight to the finish in homecoming loss

October 7, 2018
David Swartz - Managing Editor (dswartz@esthervillenews.net) , Estherville News

The 2018 Estherville Lincoln Central Homecoming game against Algona will be remembered for the Midgets' fight until the final horn.

Trailing 49-7 entering the final quarter, ELC put up two touchdowns in the final period, the last with 46 seconds left in the game, to fall 49-22.

"It was one of those games when we came out and tried to execute some things," said ELC coach Ryan Rezac. "We're trying to run the football and when they stack up the box, we try to pass down the field."

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ELC took a chance early in the game on its first drive. Facing fourth and less than a yard three plays into the drive, a quarterback keeper by Alec Heifner netted 4 yards for the Midgets' first down. ELC kept the drive alive with Heifner connecting with Blake Miller on a third-and-seven. But with first down at the Bulldog 37, the Bulldogs' defense tackled ELC for losses on the next three plays, forcing the Midgets to punt.

Algona's offense didn't take long to warm up. A 67-yard run set up a 1-yard plunge by Jacob Durant for the first score. The Bulldogs got the ball back and scored on a 9-yard run by Wyatt Wegener. The final score of the quarter came on a 75-yard interception return by Cole Johnson.

The Bulldogs went up 28-0 after a 2-yard run by Durant with 11:30 left in the half.

ELC's offense finally got something going. On fourth-and-three from the 34-yard line, Briar Rowley found a big hole around the left side and scampered into the end zone. Algona led 28-7.

ELC looked to get out of the half without further damage, but Algona's second pickoff of Heifner plus a facemask penalty on the ensuing tackle gave the visitors first and 10 from the 13-yard line. They needed just one play to score with quarterback Matt Grein connecting with Durant for hits third score of the game. That gave Algona a 35-7 lead heading into the locker-room.

"We came out, we didn't look at the scoreboard," said coach Rezac. We just wanted to come out and compete and enjoy the rest of the homecoming game.

The Bulldogs scored twice in the third quarter on a 20-yard run by Skyler Groen and a 21-run by Wegener.

In the fourth quarter, ELC came back with a 14-yard pass from Alec Heifner to Bennett Loock. Rowley ran in the two-point conversion to make it 49-15 and stop the 35-point running clock.

Heifner completed the scoring on a 2-yard plunge with 46 seconds left in the game.

Rowley led ELC's ground attack with 120 yards on 23 carries.

"He just keeps wanting the ball, and he keeps the train rolling downhill," said Rezac of Rowley. "He's a tough competitor."

Christian Sheridan and Matt Christensen each had six carries for 21 yards and Heifner had eight carries for 12 yards.

Heifner was 10-of-24 passing for 84 yards.

"I thought Alec stood in well under some pressure," said Rezac. "Also, Jesse Wolfe is working his tail off on the defensive side."

Miller had three catches for 38 yards, Loock had three catches for 29 yards and Rowley had three catches for 9 yards. Also, Christensen had one catch for 8 yards and Sheridan had one catch for 7 yards. Rowley was 1-of-1 passing.

Algona had 289 rushing yards led by Durant with 10 carries for 95 yards and Groen with four carries for 81 yards. The Bulldogs were 7-of-17 passing for 117 yards.

Defensively, Rowley led ELC with eight solo tackles while Keegan Brown had seven solo tackles and two assists. Brian Egeland had five solo tackles and two assists with three going for a loss. Morgan Dostal had ELC's lone sack of the night.

ELC (2-5 overall, 0-3 in district play) travels to Gowrie this Friday to play Southeast Valley (5-2, 3-0). The Jaguars defeated Garner-Hayfield/Ventura last Friday 42-22.

 
 
 

 

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