(Photo courtesy of Lynne Miller)
BURDEN — Establishing new school records on offense, West Elk exploded for 34 points in the second quarter of its 70-44 victory over Central-Burden in the Eight Man I-District 1 opener last Friday at the Central Sports Complex.
The Patriots racked up 590 total yards of offense, breaking the previous school record of 518 yards against Central-Burden in 1999. WEHS also rushed for 506 yards, which also broke the old mark of 494 in that same 1999 game against Central.
“We were really inconsistent tonight,” said West Elk coach Chris Haag, whose 70-point output tied for the third-most points ever scored in program history. “Our offense executed well. It was on the defensive side of the ball where we really struggled. It was like a track meet out there, so both teams were exhausted in the end. We were fortunately the stronger team to pull out the win.”
Coming off its first loss of the season in a 52-6 setback at St. Paul one week earlier, the Patriots improved to 3-1 overall and 1-0 in district play. West Elk will remain on the road on Oct. 4 when it travels to Oswego for another key district matchup. The Indians are 3-1 overall and 0-1 in District 1 following a 56-22 loss at Sedan.
Meanwhile, Central-Burden remained winless on the season at 0-4 overall and 0-1 in the district. The Raiders will hit the road to Flinthills on Oct. 4. The Mustangs are 0-4 overall and 0-1 in the district following last week’s 56-6 home loss to Cedar Vale/Dexter.
“In the second quarter, there was a stretch of about six to eight minutes where we just didn’t deal with adversity very well,” said CHS coach Anthony Blair. “It was a four-point game. That’s when we couldn’t handle it. We talked at halftime about just getting back to where we were playing in the first quarter and the early part of the second quarter. I’m really happy to see the offense get going. Our deal right now is just finishing drives.”
West Elk’s ground attack was led by two individuals that surpassed the 200-yard mark for the game — Nic Moreno with a game-high 273 yards on 29 carries and Devin Loudermilk with 10 rushes for 202 yards.
The teams were deadlocked at 8-8 after one quarter of play before the Patriots took charge before halftime. WEHS exploded for 34 points in the second period and went into the intermission up 42-16.
In the second half, the teams exchanged scoring punches the rest of the way. WEHS had a 56-30 edge after three quarters and cruised from there to the victory.
Central finished with 439 total yards of offense, including 335 on the ground by way of 34 carries. The Raiders were led by Zarek Wilson with 157 yards on 21 attempts, while Boe Smith tacked on 129 yards on eight carries.