What’s better than 7-2?
That’s the question Ellet football coach asked his team before Friday night’s game against City Series opponent Garfield at InfoCision Stadium.
Four quarters later, they were able to give their coach an answer.
The Orangemen (5-1 in the City) knocked off the Golden Rams 30-12 on a rainy night.
“All year long, it’s real simple,” Ellet coach Joe Yost said. “You win a game and I’ll say, ‘What’s better than 1-0?’ And they’ll say 2-0. That’s the thing we do. We’re going to focus one game at a time and that’s how we try and focus the kids.
“Right now, and I’m real proud of our kids. They finished at 8-2, and that’s not bad when you had 24 kids walk out the door the year before.”
The play that summed up the game occurred at the end of the first half. But it wasn’t just the one play — it was what happened leading up to that play.
Leading the Rams 14-6, Ellet downed a punt on Garfield’s 1-yard line about halfway through the second quarter.
Garfield (3-7, 3-3) then played Garfield football — it ran 14 plays to get down to Ellet’s 1-yard line. All 14 were runs.
Senior Darrion Powers had half of those carries and 64 of the 98 yards.
But he also had the fumble on the 1-yard line that made the impressive drive all for naught.
It wasn’t clear who or what caused the fumble in the pile. All that was clear was that Ellet had the ball, and Garfield had gone 98 yards with nothing to show for it.
“Obviously, it’s demoralizing,” Yost said. “Nothing demoralizes teams like fumbles and interceptions and goofy mistakes. And obviously to drive the ball 98 yards and give it up is going to do that.”
Powers finished with 130 yards on 28 carries, but wasn’t able to find the end zone.
The guys who did find the end zone were the Ellet running backs.
Senior Jacob Ivery carried the ball 15 times for 138 yards and two scores, including a 50-yarder late in the third quarter to break the game open.
Senior Cle’Von Burch added 65 yards and a score on 17 carries.
“I think several things are taking place here,” Yost said of his run game. “Obviously, I think our linemen are getting quality-enough blocks that we can hit seams. Ivery and Burch are a phenomenal, dynamic duo. They block hard for each other, they run hard for each other and, obviously, they take advantage of the holes that we have.”
The Orangemen threw the ball just three times, because they didn’t need to throw more.
Quarterback Garrett Haverstick completed 2-of-3 passes for 32 yards and a touchdown to senior Maurice Mackey in the fourth quarter.
The Rams passed the ball 10 times in the game, completing just five, but junior quarterback Trevon Shephard made them count — both of Garfield’s scores came on nearly identical 30-yard touchdown passes to senior Noland Palmer.
“We just had some guys break concentration and gave up two big plays,” Yost said. “It’s not our goal to do that. Obviously, when you play Garfield, only after a 70-year history you realize if you don’t stop their run, you might as well not even get off the bus.”
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