By JUSTIN RAINS
The Elkhart football team finds itself in an early district hole. Now, the Elks have to do some climbing if they hope to get out and into the postseason.
After Friday’s loss to Crockett, Elkhart looks to right the ship Friday, but it won’t be easy. The Elks welcome in Franklin, a team coming off of an 82-35 blowout win over Westwood.
Despite the Lions pedigree coming in, EHS coach Sam Wells expects his players to go out and fight.
“We’re going to go out there and leave it all on the field and battle,” he said. “Hopefully, it turns out our way.”
Wells said he knows the key to stopping Franklin is stopping the run. The Lions ran for more than 500 yards against Westwood, and only threw the ball three times — completing only one pass.
On the defensive side, Elkhart gave up 264 yards rushing to Crockett on Friday.
“For us, against a team like Franklin, their M-O is they’re physical up front so we’ve got to reciprocate that physical nature up front,” Wells said. “We’ve got to stay on our keys and tackle well.”
Elkhart doesn’t go into the game without firepower, however. The Elks possess a potent rushing attack of their own.
For the second-time this season, running back Jeffrey Wilson eclipsed the 300-yard mark in a game in Friday’s loss to Crockett.
The junior ran for 325 yards and 3 touchdowns on 38 carries in the game, something Wells said he wants to see more of Friday.
But, Elkhart hurt itself with some costly turnovers against Crockett, giving the Bulldogs good field position.
“We’ve got to be able to run the football and keep the chains moving and do what we have been doing running the ball,” he said. “You can’t turn it over on your end of the field and give them a short field. So, that’ll be a big plus if we don’t turn the ball over.”
Wells said that, in a perfect world, Wilson wouldn’t have to continue to carry the ball 30-plus times a game for the Elks to be successful offensively.
But, he added, if teams continue to make it available for the Elks to keep running, that’s what they’re going to do.
“It just depends on what they’re giving us,” Wells said. “They were giving us some things last Friday that allowed him to carry the ball that much. If that’s what they’re giving us, that’s what we’re going to do.”
Kick-off is set for 7:30 p.m. Friday at Jerry Ives Memorial Stadium (Sheridan St., Elkhart, Texas 75839).
Sports editor Justin Rains can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org