Crusaders take to the air against ELC
SIOUX CITY – The Estherville Lincoln Central knew Saturday’s game against Class 3A No.4 Bishop Heelan would be a challenge – but perhaps not this much.
On the first play from scrimmage, the Crusaders went with a halfback pass from Nate Berger to Nick Berger that went for a 62-yard score.
Heelan continued to go through the air for much of the game, ending with 267 yards passing in the 41-7 victory.
“They’ve got a very talented quarterback and they challenged our secondary,” said ELC coach Chuck Fandel. “Our secondary knows they have to improve to be competitive, and they have the heart and character to bounce back.”
ELC looked to generate a little offense as Alex Arends completed his first pass to Spencer Johnson-a 13-yard completion. However, ELC took a 15-yard penalty on the play instead.
That turned out to be ELC’s only first down for a while.
ELC was forced to punt and Heelan quickly drove down the field.
Quarterback Zach McCabe, who was 15-of-20 for 206 yards on the night, connected with Preston Ives a couple times on the drive, the second pass taking the Crusaders to the 1-yard line where McCabe completed a 1-yard pass to Nick Berger.
Heelan got its first rushing touchdown on its next drive with mcCabe scoring from 6 yards out and the hosts led 21-0 with 2:02 still remaining in the first quarter.
In the second quarter Ives scored on a 48-yard reverse to go up 28-0.
ELC finally appeared to stop Heelan inside the Midget 20 on the hosts’ next drive. The Crusaders tried a fake field goal on fourth down.
However two plays later, quarterback Alex Arends fumbled and Heelan jumped on the ball.
McCabe then connected with Berger on a 14-yard strike to go ahead 35-0.
The hosts final score came on a 1-yard pass from McCabe to Berger again.
ELC’s one break came on a blocked extra point.
Down 41-0 at halftime, the Midgets still had pride.
“Our goal was to try to win the second half,” said Fandel.
With a continuous running clock, as Heelan was ahead by more than 35 points, ELC finally put a drive together in the fourth quarter.
On fourth and 3, interference again was called when Arends tried to complete a pass to Johnson.
On first and 10 from the 13-yard line, jake Lange took up 3 yards. on the next play, Arends scored from 10 yards out. Cody Baker’s kick cut the deficit to 34 and stopped the continuous clock.
On the night, Arends was 3-of-9 passing for 25 yards. He also rushed nine times for 88 yards.
Lange had 21 yards on seven carries and Marcus Christensen had nine yards on one carrie.
Johnson caught two passes for 15 yards and Lange caught one for 7 yards.
Jeremy Hunt led the defense with 19 tackles. Lange had nine, Justin Lundgren had eight and Adam McCarthy and Ryan Vos each had seven.
ELC (1-3, 0-2) hosts Spencer on Friday for the Midgets’ Homecoming.