Midgets outmaneuver Generals at home
A fumble on the first snap and several penalties in the first half was an auspicious start for Estherville Lincoln Central in its home opener.
But after a scoreless first quarter, the Midgets’ offense finally picked up some rhythm. After taking a 20-0 lead at halftime, the Generals turned the ball over on its first two possessions and ELC took advantage. That allowed them to cruise to a 41-6 victory.
The difference a week made showed in the stats as ELC racked up over 500 yards on offense while holding the Generals to around 100 yards.
The ELC defense stepped up late in the first quarter to help the offense.
After the Midgets turned the ball over on downs at the General 10-yard line, Sibley-Ocheyedan had success by gaining a couple first downs.
But right before the second quarter, the ELC defense came up with three straight sacks-the first by Jake Lange and then one by Caleb Baruth and Cody Prather and the third by Lange and Ty Wilson.
With Sibley-Ocheyedan punting deep in its own territory, ELC’s Marcus Christensen had a good return opportunity and he made use of it, bringing the ball to the General 30.
On the next play from scrimmage, Alex Arends connected with Spencer Johnson on a 29-yard pass to the 1-yard line. Arends took the ball in himself on the next play. The Matt Brown kick had ELC leading 7-0 with 11:30 remaining in the half.
ELC didn’t take long for its next score.
The Generals fumbled at their 33. ELC drove inside the 10 and Christensen capped off the drive with a 3-yard run at the 6:07 mark. Brown’s kick made the score 14-0.
S-O drove to midfield before punting on a fourth-and-2 and ELC’s put together a drive start at its 15.
The drive included a wing pass to Nate Jensen, a run by Lange to the 50 and a 14-yard run by Christensen. ELC went the rest of the way as Arends again connected with Johnson, this time for a 36-yard score. That gave ELC a 20-0 lead at the break.
The Generals had the ball first to start the second half, but couldn’t do anything with it, fumbling at their 44.
ELC took advantage of the short field with two runs by Arends and another by Lange to get inside the 10-yard line. Two plays later, Christensen took the ball in from 3-yards out.
On the Generals next possession, Jensen intercepted a tipped ball from his safety position by diving forward. That gave ELC the ball at the 40 and the Midgets began driving again. Although an 11-yard touchdown run by Christensen was called back by an ELC penalty, he took the ball in moments later from 5-yards out for a 34-0 lead.
The Generals hung on the ball their next drive, coming up with their only score on a 33-yard pass play from Troy Schmidt to Greg Iedema.
ELC answered early with 8:22 in the fourth quarter on a 30-yard run by Lange. The Brown PAT gave the Midgets a 35-point lead to start the continuous clock.
Arends and Christensen both had over 100 yards on the ground as Arends rushed 20 times for 118 yards and Christensen had 117 yards on 17 carries. Lange had 68 yards on seven carries. Jensen carried twice for 17 yards and Dan Jones carried once for five.
Arends completed 10 of 14 passes for 170 yards.
Johnson had two catches for 82 yards, Jeremy Hunt caught three balls for 23, Jensen had two catches for 12, jacob Perkins caught one ball for 42 yards and Lange caught one ball for 11 yards.
ELC (1-1) opens district play at home against MOC-Floyd Valley next Friday.