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Sheldon 45, ELC 35 Orabs surge past Midgets

Sheldon scores final 13 points to defeat ELC

September 16, 2018
David Swartz - Managing Editor ( , Estherville News

After Estherville Lincoln Central took an early 14-0 lead against Sheldon, the Midgets were unable to hold back the Orabs in the final period.

ELC didn't lose the lead until the third quarter, but promptly got it back with a 36-yard touchdown run by Briar Rowley. That gave ELC a 35-32 lead heading into the fourth quarter, but Sheldon scored 13 unanswered points in the final period to take a 45-35 victory.

ELC's opportunities to slow Sheldon's attack throughout the night, was hurt by turnovers and pass interference penalties.

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The Midgets had a great start to the game, as Christian Sheridan returned the opening kickoff to the Orab 8-yard line. After a 6-yard run by Rowley, Sheridan punched the ball in from 2-yards out with barely a minute gone in the game. Aldo Alvarado added the first of five extra points he would make on the night, as ELC led 7-0 at the 11:16 mark.

On its first possession, Sheldon attempted to convert and fourth-and-3 around midfield. ELC's defense held. Four plays later, Matt Christensen got behind the Orab defense, as quarterback Alec Heifner connected with him on a 35-yard strike. Alvarado's kick gave ELC a 14-0 lead with 7:53 left in the first quarter.

The Orabs finally answered four plays later while Tyler Lode broke free for a 52-yard scamper. The Orabs' extra point missed as ELC's lead was cut to 14-6 with 6:31 left in the opening frame.

ELC's next drive ended when Heifner threw his first interception on a pass intended for Kevin Egeland. Egeland lept for the ball, but it slipped through his hands into the hands of Sheldon's Tyler Lode, who returned the ball to the ELC 25 yard line. Three plays later, quarterback Brennan Radke connected with Trent Van Meeteren on a 13-yard touchdown pass. The Orabs kicked the extra point and stil trailed 14-13 with 4:17 left in the first quarter.

ELC drove into Orab territory on its second drive. On fourth-and-8, ELC looked to punt, but instead hiked to Sheridan, who ran down the left side for a first down. While he fumbled at the end of the play, teammate Christensen jumped on the ball and ELC had a first down at the Orab 24-yard line.

Two plays later, ELC had the ball on a first-and-goal at the 2-yard line. Rowley found a wide open play to score on the first play of the second quarter. Alvarado's kick gave ELC a 21-13 advantage.

ELC stopped the Orabs' next drive, but Lode intercepted Heifner for the second time in the first half. ELC looked to stop Sheldon deep in the Midgets' territory, but two pass interference calls against the Midgets gave Sheldon's Jeremy Wollmuth to punch the ball in from 1 yard out and cut the deficit to 21-19 with 5:35 left in the half.

ELC's next drive started on the Midgets 25. Big runs by Rowley took the ball across midfield and Sheridan completed the drive with a 16-yard touchdown run with 3:01 left in the half.

Sheldon had another answer. Radke handed off to Lode on a sweep to the right side. Lode suddenly cut back to the middle of the field and ELC didn't have anyone to catch, as the Orab scored on the 69-yard jaunt. After the extra point, ELC led 28-26 at the break.

The Orabs took the lead on their second possession of the first half with Radke connecting with Lode on a 44-yard strike. The two-point conversion failed, but Sheldon led 32-28.

ELC responded late in the third quarter with Rowley's 36-yard run with 2:09 left in the period.

In the fourth quarter, an ELC fumble deep in the Midgets' territory led to Sheldon taking the lead for good. ELC compounded the error moments later with a pass interference and an unsportsmanlike penalty on one play. It was simple for Radke to connect with Cody Vaselaar on a 4-yard touchdown pass. The Orab extra point kick missed, but Sheldon led 38-35.

ELC's offense was unable to answer while Wollmuth capped the victory with a 1-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter for the final 45-35 score.

ELC finished with 257 rushing yards compared to 203 for Sheldon.

Rowley led ELC with 203 yards on 30 carries while Sheridan had 47 yards on seven carries and Garrett Paulson had one carry for 11 yards.

Heifner was 11-of-21 passing for 112 yards. Egeland caught four passes for 33 yards, Blake Miller caught two passes for 19 yards, Christensen had one catch for 35 yards and Sheridan had two catches for 25 yards. Rowley had two catches for no yards.

Keegan Brown led the ELC defense with 10 solo tackles and three assists. Brian Egeland, Morgan Dostal, Miller, Parker Rowley and Paulson each had four solo tackles. Egeland, Dostal and Justin Wolfe each had a sack.

ELC (2-2 overall) travels to Spirit Lake this Friday for the first district game for both teams. The Indians, ranked third in Class 2A, are 4-0 after defeating Sioux Center 58-13 last Friday. ELC and Spirit Lake met last season with the Indians winning 29-12 in that contest.



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