CL/GLR 36, ELC 26 Fighting til the end
Falling behind 16-0 in the first quarter, it didn’t look like a good night for Estherville Lincoln Central against Class 2A 10th-ranked Central Lyon/George-Little Rock.
The Midgets’ offense, which went three-and-out in its first three possessions gained life in the second quarter, battled back within two by halftime, 16-14, and trailed by three, 29-26, to start the final quarter. But ELC couldn’t get over the hump in the 36-26 loss to the Lions.
For ELC, it was the third loss to a ranked opponent this season.
“We’ve got to play four quarters and they (CLGLR) did what they wanted in the first few drives,” said ELC coach Andy Umthun. “They picked on our defensive ends. We made some adjustments and played good defense after that.”
But battling from that 16-0 deficit was too much.
The Lions capped their first drive with a 1-yard touchdown run by Mitch Van Beek. With ELC offside on the extra point kick, CL/GLR elected to go for the two-point conversion and succeeded to lead 8-0 with 8:57 left in the first quarter.
After ELC went three-and-out again, the Lions again drove deep into ELC territory, but the ball came loose and Seth Loock jumped on the fumble as ELC took over at the Midget 15-yard line. But three plays later, ELC punted again. This time, quarterback Riley Van Wyhe scored on a 10-yard run with 51 seconds left in the period. Again ELC was offside on the extra point attempt and the Lions went for the two-point conversion to lead 16-0.
ELC finally put together some first downs before the end of the first quarter. On the first play of the second quarter a pass from Evan Olesen found Trey Jacobson in the end zone, but a holding penalty called it back.
ELC drove into Lion territory before turning the ball over on downs. The Lions hurt themselves in the next drive with a couple penalties along with a sack by Joe Hecht.
They eventually turned the ball over on downs at the ELC 13.
ELC drove to midfield before punting again with Olesen’s kick pinning the Lions inside the 10-yard line. ELC’s defense forced the Lions into a three-and-out. Sheridan gave ELC its big break, returning the punt to the 5-yard line. ELC ran the ball four straight times with Sheridan taking the ball in from a yard out with 3:08 left in the first half. ELC went for the two-point conversion, which failed, but the deficit was no 16-6.
ELC’s next drive started with 53 seconds left in the half on the Midget 34. Olesen connected on passes with Sheridan and Bosch to get to the Lion 30-yard line. After spiking the ball to stop the clock, Olesen threw up a pass to the right side of the end zone. Bennett Loock got position on his defender and landed on the ground with the ball for ELC’s second touchdown. Olesen then connected with Bosch on a two-point conversion pass and ELC trailed just 16-14 at the break.
“I give credit to the guys-they did a great job battling back,” said Umthun. “We played a great second quarter and I give credit to the guys to making adjustments on the fly in midgame.”
For the second week in a row, ELC appeared to have the momentum heading into the second half. But the Lion’s Van Beek returned the kickoff to the ELC 10-yard line. Moments later, Van Wyhe took the ball in from 1-yard out. Their extra point was no good as EL trailed 22-14.
The Midgets put a drive together of their own, but that ended when a pass was tipped and landed in Van Wyhe’s hands. He returned it 80 yards and ELC suddenly trailed 29-14 with 7:45 left in the third.
ELC’s Myles McDonald gave a quick response. Back from an injury suffered in the season opener against Spirit Lake, McDonald took the ensuing kickoff 90-yards down the right side of the field. ELC again went for the two-point conversion, which failed, but the score was 29-20.
On CL/GLR’s next drive, the Lions faced a third and 5. Seth Loock came up with his second turnover of the night as he got position on the Lion’s receiver to intercept the pass at the ELC 41-yard line.
Passes from Olesen to Bennett Loock, Jacobson and Bosch helped ELC move the change to the 13-yard line. After two running plays by McDonald gave ELC third and 3 at the 6-yard line, Sheridan found an opening for the score as ELC cut the deficit to 29-26.
But in the fourth quarter, ELC couldn’t quite finish the drives it needed. The Lions intercepted ELC a couple times and Van Wyhe added one more score on an 11-yard run.
For ELC, Sheridan led the ground attack with 84 yards on 13 carries while McDonald had 58 yards on 12 carries. Olesen was 16-of-29 passing for 177 yards.
The Lions had 338 total yards compared to ELC’s 320. Van Wyhe had 20 carries for 139 yards and Jaydon Baker had 108 yards on 20 carries. Van Wyhe was 4-of-10 passing for 71 yards.
ELC (1-3 overall, 0-2 in district play) go on the road this Friday to face Sioux Center (1-3, 0-2).