By Will Johnson
WHITNEY – The Elkhart Elks were looking to snap a three-game losing skid as they traveled to Whitney to take on the Wildcats in a District 9-AAA DI match-up. The Elks were coming off of a 33-10 homecoming loss while the Wildcats were coming off of a 46-28 loss to Teague and hoped to end a two-game skid of their own.
If you’re a fan of defensive football, this was the game for you as both teams struggled to move the ball. In the end, however, the Elks came up just short against the Wildcats as they fell by a final score of 18-10.
The game started with the Wildcats taking possession of the ball and marching deep into Elkhart territory. The Elks defense stiffened, however, and forced Whitney to attempt a 25-yard field goal.
The kick by Whitney’s Juan Arredondo was good and with nine minutes left to play in in the first quarter, the Wildcats had staked themselves to an early 3-0 lead.
The remainder of the first 12 minutes of play saw the two teams exchange possessions with neither one even getting a sniff of the end zone.
As the second quarter got underway, the Elks opened with the ball at the Whitney 49-yard line. After John Ashford broke free on a 27-yard scamper, the Elks found themselves inside the Whitney red zone with a chance to take the lead.
Unfortunately for Elkhart, the Whitney defense rose up and forced a turnover on downs. The Wildcats were unable to get past their own 30 and were forced to punt. The Elks couldn’t do anything on offense either and returned the favor by punting the ball back to the Wildcats.
After Whitney’s offense went nowhere, the Elks took possession of the pigskin and moved out to midfield. Just as they crossed the midfield stripe, Whitney’s Samuel Shorts picked off Elkhart QB Landry Mays at the 44-yard line.
From there, Wildcat QB Devin Wilson moved the Whitney offense inside the Elkhart 30 and then connected with wide-out Clay Richters for a 25-yard scoring strike. The two point conversion was good and ended the first half scoring with Whitney ahead by a margin of 11-0.
Following the halftime festivities, the two teams returned to the field for more of the hard-hitting defensive action, as shown in the first half of play.
The Elks and Wildcats traded possession of the ball until the three minute mark of the third quarter when Wilson found Hunter Watson for a 13-yard TD. The extra point by Juan Morales was good and with under three minutes left in the period, Whitney had extended their lead to 18-0.
The Elks took the ensuing kickoff and promptly marched right down the field and into the Whitney red zone. Elkhart’s drive stalled at that point and the Elks had to rely on a 27-yard field goal from Jacob McSwane to close out the quarter with the score 18-3, Whitney.
The score remained that way throughout the final period of play until the clock was under minute as Nate Bell scored the only Elks’ TD of the game. McSwane’s PAT was good and after the Wildcats recovered the attempted onside kick, Whitney held on to upend the Elks by a final score of 18-10.
The Elks return home next week for a game against the Groesbeck Goats. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Jerry Ives Memorial Stadium on Friday, Nov. 3.
Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.