Ellet coach Joe Yost has said he wants to see how his team shapes up with the rest of the City Series. So far, so good.
After a costly mistake early, the Orangemen woke up, took to the ground and ran away from Kenmore 31-13 at the Orange Bowl on Friday night.
Kenmore sophomore Terez Smith ran back an early interception for a touchdown to put the Cardinals ahead 7-0. Ellet (4-2, 2-0) then went to work dissecting Kenmore’s run defense with sophomore speedster Jacob Ivory and junior power-back Matt Geer, who ran for a combined 212 yards and two touchdowns, to score 31 unanswered points.
Ivory, Ellet’s 5-foot-5, 145-pound lead runner who also plays on defensive line and has sacks in consecutive games, was especially effective. He ran for 121 yards on 26 carries, 98 of them coming in the first half, and he caught a 21-yard pass from junior quarterback David Fisher that went for a touchdown.
Yost isn’t sure just how tall Ivory really is.
“I know one thing,” he said. “His heart is 6-2, 215, that’s for sure.”
Ellet’s running game built a lead and ate up clock, and the defensive line was just as dominating, sacking Kenmore senior quarterback DeSean Ballinger five times. Senior defensive end Corey Hoskinson accounted for three of those and one, by junior Dakota King, went for a safety in the second quarter. Ellet’s defense allowed only 108 yards of total offense and eight first downs.
Now, Ellet will welcome Buchtel to the Orange Bowl on Friday night for a top-of-the-line City Series test, something Yost has been waiting for because, as he says, Ellet is a true league contender.
“Obviously, Buchtel is the team to beat,” he said. “But you look at comparative scores to make sure we’re in the hunt, and obviously we are. As we look at it, we’ll take them one at a time. Buchtel is the next obstacle.”
Ivory said it’ll be a good game, saying he thinks Ellet can win it. Then he changed his mind and said, “Well, I know we can win it.”
Kenmore coach Ed Peltz says his team is young and lacking the experience to play a full 48-minute game with as much emotion as a young team should be playing.
“We’re sophomores and juniors who have very little playing experience, and we’re up and down like a yo-yo,” Peltz said of the Cardinals (2-4, 0-3). “It’s very frustrating. When we play with emotion for an entire game, we’re a better team. We gotta play with emotion. That helps when you’re young.”
In stopping Ivory and Geer, Peltz didn’t see the effort he wanted.
“It’s nothing they didn’t see all week in practice,” he said. “There’s nothing unusual, nothing hard, but it takes 11 players playing hard all the time. Not nine, not 10, not six. Eleven.”
Ellet isn’t experienced either, only dressing six seniors each week. But Yost says the attitude of the group during the game sets this unit apart from past teams.
“This is one of the best groups we’ve had, even though they’re young, because we put together a game plan, we make offensive and defensive adjustments, and these guys just bust their butts to do exactly what we’ve asked them to do,” Yost said. “It really is a family affair.”
Ryan Lewis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the high school blog at https://ohio.com/preps. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/RyanLewisABJ.