Behind a dominant defensive showing and an opportunistic offense, Ellet defeated Springfield 22-12 in their annual rivalry game.
The Ellet defense held Springfield (0-1) to just 135 yards on the evening. Aside from an 80-yard touchdown from running back Logan Woods, the Spartans had nothing going for them on offense.
That long run late in the fourth quarter simply dented Ellet’s lead, and the Spartans missed on a 2-point conversion attempt and failed to recover an onside kick attempt.
The defensive performance was music to Ellet coach Chuck Shuman’s ears, especially as many of the Orangemen (1-0) played on both offense and defense. Afraid of how inexperience and fatigue would bother his team, Shuman left the stadium impressed with the Orangemen’s performance.
“Our goal was to stop the big play, and our kids basically did that until the end of the game,” Shuman said. “Our kids carried out the game plan and did an outstanding job for us.”
The Spartans suffered some turnovers in their own territory, too, including a fumble at their own 20-yard line and another fumble that got booted backwards a dozen yards on a quarterback sack. That’s not to mention they had a punt blocked early in the first quarter that led to Ellet’s first touchdown and they muffed a kickoff return that the Orangemen recovered but didn’t turn into a score.
The Orangemen didn’t always make it easy on themselves offensively either, but they got the job done. They fumbled away a possession with only one yard to go before scoring a fourth-quarter touchdown, and six of Springfield’s points came on an 88-yard touchdown run on a fumble recovery by Woods, who scored both of the Spartans' touchdowns.
But when it came down to it, the Orangemen found a way to salvage the game. They picked up two fourth-down conversions after they recovered a blocked punt at Springfield’s 20-yard line on their first scoring drive. Senior David Haverstick finally snagged a touchdown pass from junior quarterback Ethan Jones. The Orangemen completed another pass for the 2-point conversion moments later.
“It was a great team win,” Jones said. “I’m going to go watch film. I can’t break it down right now [but] we’ve got to work on our turnovers. Sometimes we’re not on the same page, but we’re going to get that together.”
The night belonged to Jones, who finished with 58 yards passing and two touchdowns. He also found his way into the end zone on a 13-yard touchdown run and finished with 63 yards on 12 carries. This was his first game as a starter, and though he split some quarterbacking duties last season, he commanded the huddle full-time Friday night.
“[Jones] is one of those players that … as a play’s going on, you’re going, ‘Oh no, oh no, oh no, great play.’ Nothing he does out here ever surprises me,” Shuman said. “He’s a competitor, he’s an athlete, and he’s capable of making a big play. He showed a lot of poise for his first game coming out as a starter.”