ELGIN – The undefeated Owls scored early and often as they swept past their first district foe El Reno, 47-8, Friday night at Elgin Stadium.
The win marked Elgin’s first 4-0 start in 25 years.
The capacity crowd witnessed Elgin get off to a strong start as the Owls scored fast on two drives. Junior tailback Matthew Lund capped off a two-play, nine-yard drive with his seventh TD of the season less than four minutes into the game. The short yardage drive was the result of a 51-yard punt return by the Owls.
Elgin’s coaches called a surprise onside kick with the Owls recovering at the El Reno 38 yard-line. Three plays later, sophomore quarterback Tres Lorah connected with Michael Adesola on a 38-yard TD pass. Gabe Dittmeyer kicked the extra point as the Owls led, 14-0 with 8:09 left in the first quarter.
“That (special teams) was a big point of emphasis going into Friday’s game so we could set up scores,” Elgin head coach Chalmer Wyatt said. “We did a good job executing in all phases of the game.”
Elgin ended the first quarter scoring with a seven-yard TD run by freshman Ritson Meyer with 1:25 left. The big play of the 43-yard scoring drive came when Lund rambled 31 yards to the El Reno 12. Three plays later, Meyer scored his fourth TD of the season.
The Owls showed they can score on long sustained drives as Elgin went 80 yards in 11 plays with Lorah passing 19 yards to Adesola for his second touchdown reception of the night. Dittmeyer kicked the extra point as Elgin increased its lead to 28-0.
Three minutes later, Elgin drove 55 yards in three plays with Lorah passing 11 yards to sophomore tight end Colyn Donnelly. The big play of the drive came on a 32-yard pass hookup from Lorah to Lund that put the ball at the El Reno 13. Dittmeyer kicked the extra point as the Owls held an insurmountable halftime lead, 35-0.
Wyatt’s halftime speech pushed the need to play to Elgin standards and another 24 minutes of film that opposing teams will view.
“I told our guys there are snaps we can improve on and I challenged our punt team to execute and get the ball inside the 10. They did better downing it inside the five-yard line. Overall, the execution was there. I think we missed a couple of throws, but that’s being a little picky.”
Lorah, a sophomore, had a career game high with four touchdown passes while completing 10 of 17 throws for 161 yards and no interceptions.
“We’re getting our feet under us with the passing game to go with the running game so we can keep the defenses off balance,” Wyatt said.
Lund finished the game with 94 yards rushing on 15 carries and one touchdown. For the season, Lund has carried the ball 81 times for 672 yards and seven TDs. He is averaging 8.3 yards a carry.
Elgin’s second-leading rusher, freshman Ritson Meyer, carried the ball five times for 28 yards, including his first quarter 5-yard TD scamper. After four games, Meyer has rushed 23 times for 200 yards and four TDs.
Elgin scored two more times in the third quarter as Lorah passed 13 yards to senior wide receiver Chandler Zimmerman for his first TD of the season. Elgin’s final TD came on a 68-yard punt return by Brody Morrison with 1:04 left in the third quarter to lead 47-0. Elgin’s two-point conversion attempt failed.
El Reno tallied a touchdown and a two-point conversion in the waning moments of the district matchup. Latin Everhart scored on a 7-yard run with 1:19 left in the game.
For the game, Elgin racked up 292 yards on offense while holding El Reno to 147 total yards. The Owls rushed the ball 31 times for 131 yards.
The Owls, ranked No. 10 in Class 5A, will host the Ardmore Tigers 7 p.m., Sept. 30 in a 5A-1 district matchup. Ardmore, 2-2 overall, lost an offensive shootout to Noble on Friday, 60-56. Elgin travels to Noble on Oct. 14.
NOTES: After four games, Elgin has outscored its opponents, 148-32….Elgin’s next two opponents, Ardmore and Altus, have a combined record of 2-6. Altus is winless this season….Elgin has scored more than 30 points in three of its four games. The Owls tallied 27 points in its 27-0 shutout of Cache.