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ELC 45, Clarion-Goldfield-Dows 32 Shootout at Hoyt Luithly

Rowley runs for 301 yards, 4 TDs

October 21, 2018
David Swartz - Managing Editor ( , Estherville News

For fans that enjoy a lot of scoring, Estherville Lincoln Central came out on top in shootout, 45-32, against visiting Clarion-Goldfield/Dows in the final game of the season on Friday.

Senior running back Briar Rowley led the offense with 301 yards and four touchdowns on 23 carries.

"I got to give a lot of credit to the line-big holes and I just got to run as fast as I can," he said after the game. "We didn't want to get into a shootout, but that's what it ended up."

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ELC led 39-32 after Rowley scored his final touchdown on an 8-yard run with 22 seconds remaining. When the extra point missed, the Cowboys still had a slim chance.

CGD ran two plays after the ensuing kickoff. On the final play, Cowboy quarterback Jace Wiedemann got scrambling deep in his own territory and ELC Parker Rowley picked off the pass attempt and returned for six more points.

"That was awesome. I loved it," said Briar Rowley of his brother's touchdown.

ELC started the game well with the defense stopping the Cowboys at the Midget 35-yard line. ELC drove across midfield and then converted a second-and 20 on a slant pass to Blake Miller. A few plays later, ELC kept the drive alive on a fourth-and less than a yard with Alec Heifner getting the first down on a quarterback keeper. Two plays later, Heifner connected with Matt Christensen on a 24-yard strike for the first score of the game. Aldo Alvarado added the extra point and ELC led 7-0.

After the ensuing kickoff, CGD fumbled on its first play from scrimmage with Bennett Loock recovering the ball for ELC. Briar Rowley needed just one play to run 38-yard for the score and Alvarado's kick gave ELC a 14-0 lead at the 2:36 mark of the first quarter.

The Cowboys' next drive also resulted in a fumble after three plays. ELC again took advantage of the short field. A big run by Rowley gave the Midgets first and goal on the 6-yard line. On the first play of the second quarter, Heifner successfully completed a naked bootleg to score from 6 yards out. While the extra point missed, ELC led 20-0.

The rest of the first half was all CGD, as the visitors answered with 20 unanswered points.

The first came on a 1-yard run by Nate Rapp with Weidemann running int eh two-point conversion. Heifner then threw an interception and the Cowboys took advantage with Weidemannn scoring on a 13-yard run with 5:17 left in the half. ELC blocked the extra point attempt, but the lead was now just 20-14.

On ELC's next drive, a 75-yard touchdown run by Rowley was called back due to a personal foul. The foule came far enough down field that ELC still had first and 10 and the Cowboy 48-yard line. But a Heifner pass was picked off by Kain Nelson.

ELC appeared to return the favor on the very next play, when Christensen snagged a pass by Weidemann. But Christensen was called for pass interference. A couple plays later, Rapp scored from 11-yards out and the score was tied 20-20.

ELC had some keys to talk about at halftime.

"We started the way we wanted to start on the offensive side of the ball," said ELC coach Ryan Rezac. "Defensively, they (the Cowboys) were going with a little option play that we were having hard time figuring out-one that we had seen all film and in practice all week. We had a couple executions things that we cleaned up at halftime and they were taking advantage of in the first half. The play is the fullback and quarterback were meshing and we would tackle one and the other guy would take the ball and we just needed to get help on the backside and clean up in the second half."

"We just told everyone to focus up and we told the seniors, it's one more half of football for most of us," said Briar Rowley

ELC struck first in the second half with Rowley scoring on a 35-yard run.

CGW answered later in the period with Weidemann scoring on a 40-yard run. However, the Cowboys were unable to convert the extra point and ELC led 27-26.

In the fourth quarter, Rowley scored on a 7-yard run. ELC's extra point attempt was blocked, but ELC led 33-26.

Weidemann again answered, this time on an 11-yard run. Again, the Midget defense held up on the extra point, as ELC maintained its one-point advantage, 33-32.

ELC began eating up the clock on its final drive, as the Midgets moved steadily down the field before Briar Rowley's final 8-yard run with 22 seconds left in the game.

Seniors suiting up for their final time for ELC (3-6 overall, 1-4 in district play) are Bennett Loock, Briar Rowley, Alec Heifner, Blake Miller, Sam Reiter, Tanner Van Wyhe, Brian Egeland, Kylan Fitzgerald, Morgan Dostal, Nick Egeland, Juan Diaz and Jesse Wolfe.

"I can't be more proud of our seniors, a group of guys that have worked hard all season long," said coach Rezac. "It'd be great to restart the season and come back with this group of seniors, because they've done everything we've asked of them. I couldn't have asked for a group of guys like this to be my first group of seniors as head coach. I'm very proud of them. It's been a lot of fun."



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