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Fast start leads to Midget victory: ELC 48, Pocahontas Area/L-M 26

ELC?had answers for Pocahontas rally

October 9, 2016
David Swartz - Managing Editor ( , Estherville News

POCAHONTAS - Estherville Lincoln Central coaches got the fast start they were looking for against Pocahontas Area/Laurens-Marathon on Friday.

The Midgets built a 20-0 lead and withstood and Indian rally on the way to a 48-26 victory-their second straight win in two weeks.

"We talked all week about wanting to have a fast start and we forced them into two three and outs on defense," said ELC coach Andy Umthun. "I was impressed with the way the guys came out and played hard right away and give credit to how hard our receivers work on blocks downfield."

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After forcing Pocahontas to punt on its first possession, it took two plays for ELC to find the end zone. After an incomplete pass on first down, ELC's quarterback Evan Olesen found a big hole up the middle and out-raced the defense 65 yards to the end zone. Freshman kicker Aldo Alvarado kicked the extra point and would finish 6-of-7 on extra points on the night.

ELC's next score would take a little longer as the Midgets' next scoring drive started on the 50-yard line. Olesen connected with Jacob Heinrichs twice to move the chains.

On third-and-two, Olesen connected with Bennett Loock on a 20-yard strike with 2:13 left in the first quarter and ELC would lead 14-0 at the end of the opening frame.

Pocahontas moved the ball across midfield on its next drive with ELC forcing the host to turn the ball over on downs. Two plays later, Olesen connected with Loock again on a 68-yard strike. After Alvarado's only missed extra point, ELC led 20-0 with 10:19 left in the first half.

Later in the quarter, Pocahontas' offense finally got a break when Jacob Samuelson busted through the ELC defense and went 53 yards. The two-point conversion failed, but the lead was down to 20-6.

ELC looked to move the ball on its next drive, but a fumble fell into the hands of the Indians' Noah Anderson, who returned it 60 yards for the score. A two-point conversion pass and ELC's lead was suddenly just six, 20-14, with 4 minutes left in the half.

"We talked about how they have playmakers and they did that early on," said Umthun. "We made some adjustments, but give credit to them for battling. I thought we did better later on in getting back to it."

ELC did get back to it before halftime. Although the Midgets were forced punt on their next drive, a fumble by Pocahontas on the kick allowed ELC to recover the ball in Indian territory.

Four plays later, Olesen connected with Trey Jacobson on a 15-yard strike and Alvarado's extra point gave ELC a 27-14 lead with 50 seconds in the second half.

The action for the half wasn't over yet.

On the ensuing kickoff, Pocahontas looked for a return for a touchdown with ELC's Isaiah Thompson making a saving tackle at the 50-yard line.

Pocahontas went to the air and an interception on the next play was returned to the Pocahontas 12-yard line by Sheridan, but the play was called back on a penalty.

ELC's Olesen tried to connect with Loock two plays later and Pocahontas came up with the interception with 3 seconds left on the clock.

ELC's Myles McDonald started the second half by returning the kickoff to the Pocahontas 12-yard line where Sheridan took the ball in on the very next play as ELC pushed its lead to 34-14.

Pocahontas responded with a 34-yard pass from Jace Davidson to Dane Hubbell, but ELC led 34-20.

ELC's came back with another drive, this time scoring on a 9-yard pass from Olesen to Heinrichs with 4:56 left in the third quarter.

In the fourth quarter, ELC began to use some clock with Sheridan scoring on a 5-yard run with 5:51 remaining.

Pocahontas finished up with a 16-yard pass from Davidson to Tyler Behrendsen with 3:21 on the clock.

Unofficially, ELC finished with 200 rushing yards on 39 carries. Sheridan led the way with 70 yards on 13 carries while Olesen had 67 yards on nine carries, McDonald had 55 yards on 13 carries and Loock had 8 yards on four carries.

Olesen finished 18-of-29 passing with completions to Loock, Heinrichs, Jacob Bosch and Clay Budach.

"It's Been our MO to get as many guys involved in possible," said Umthun. "We have so many receivers and different weapons. They do a good job running their routes and with those two running backs in the backfield. They've done a good job gelling together.

"The linemen are the guys behind the scenes, but they do the work in the trenches to set up run and fast. Without them playing well, we're not doing well," the coach said.

Pocahontas unofficially had 185 yards on the ground led by Anderson with 68 and Hubbell with 5. Both had 13 carries. Davidson finished 11-of-25 passing for 196 yards.

ELC (3-4 overall, 2-3 in district play) hosts Cherokee this Friday for the final home game of the season. The Braves lost a tough 20-18 game to Central Lyon/George-Little Rock.



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