Last week ELCO fought hard against perennial state powerhouse Wyomissing, eventually coming up short 28-14. Fast forward six days and the Raiders would face on Homecoming yet another section juggernaut in the Cocalico Eagles.
The Raiders offense would go three and out on their first drive and punt it over to Cocalico. The run heavy Eagles veer and triple option attack would jump on the Raiders defense early. Quarterback Josh Myer would take the first snap on the night for Cocalico and race 28 yards for a touchdown taking a 7-0 lead.
“They’re just an incredibly well executing team and they have some weapons, the size of them upfront,” said ELCO head coach Robert Miller. “If we get one guy out of place and give them a crease they’re going to find it and really make you pay for it.”
The Raiders second drive would start on their own 27-yard line. Running back Jake Williams would be held in check by a swarming Cocalico defense. Facing third down, quarterback Steven Rosado would try running for a first down, but the Eagles would force a fumble and recover the ball on the ELCO 34.
“You look at the first half as a learning experience, honest mistakes like those mistakes are how we learn,” said Miller.
On a short field the Eagles would methodically move the ball down the field and score on a 2-yard run by Sam Steffy, pushing the score to 14-0.
The Raiders would start their third series at their own 35-yard line. ELCO would try to move the ball on the ground with Williams, but the defensive line for the Eagles did not allow Williams any running room. Williams would be held to 42 yards in the first half.
With the running game struggling to get going the Raiders took to the air, but Rosado would be picked off by Aaryn Longenecker who weaved his way 52 yards for the touchdown bringing the score with the extra point to 21-0 Eagles with 3:44 in the 1st Q.
On the next series ELCO would try to set up a screen pass, but Rosado would be picked off. The Eagles would drive down the field and Steffy would score his second touchdown on an 11-yard run.
“We had some guys in the first half try to make plays on their own and not follow through on discipline and it’s all heart that’s that effort and achievement you want to see out of your kids,” said Miller.
Despite the turnovers the Raiders kept battling, which their coach praised.
“I’m proud of our guys for their effort but now we just have to clean it up on our discipline and be in the place where their supposed to be,” said Miller.
Cocalico would score on each offensive drive it had in the first half to take a commanding 42-0 lead into halftime.
The Raiders would continue to fight in the second half as Ellis Gensamer would run 8 yards to get the Raiders on the board in the fourth quarter. While the Raiders would come out on the losing end 56-7, Coach Miller said his team did not quit.
“I couldn’t be more proud of the effort and the second half is actually who we are, so you are who you are the next play, people are going to judge you on the next play, so we’re going to have to respond and move forward,” said Miller.
ELCO will travel to Octorara Area on Oct. 6.
Head Coach: Robert Miller
Assistant Coaches: John Carley, Robert Williams, Wyatt Hall, Earl Thomas, John Wetzel
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