Owls topple Outlaws, 26-6
ELGIN - Elgin football coach Curtis Lorah walked onto the football field Thursday to gather the team and he noticed something about his players. They were all ready to go despite having just lost their coach Jason Cunningham to a voluntary resignation.
Just one day later, the Owls were playing, rolling with the punches as Elgin scored 26 unanswered points to comfortably pull away from Marlow for a 26-6 win Friday night.
"These kids at Elgin High School are resilient. There was no lull and they bought in immediately," coach Lorah said. "To do what they did tonight was unbelievable. It's a great tribute to the assistant coaches who have kept this going."
It was a tale of two halves, but Elgin (1-1) saved its best for last in its home opener.
Holding a narrow 7-6 lead to start the third, the Owls leaned on the ground game to create more breathing room.
Elgin rushed for 284 yards most of which came in the second half as the Owls began wearing Marlow (0-3) down.
Senior running back Lewis Shepherd was a big part of that as the work horse tallied 26 carries for 182 yards and three touchdowns.
"I wouldn't be able to do anything without my line," Shepherd said. "All those points up on the scoreboard there wouldn't be possible without them working as hard as they do. As long as I got them in front of me, I have no stress."
All three of Shepherd's touchdowns came in the second half. The first came on a four yard run with 1:43 left in the third quarter, capping off an 87 yard drive to give Elgin a 13-7 lead. Sixty-eight rushing yards were accumulated on that drive alone.
"I know that we got talented running backs and talented linemen up front," Lorah said. "We felt like we wanted to go behind the offensive line and let them change the game."
On the ensuing kickoff, Marlow returned it out to midfield only to fumble the ball and have Elgin recover it. The Owls took advantage as the running game began to pick up even more steam.
"We needed to play with more fire than what we did," Marlow coach Rob Renshaw said. "We didn't have it for some reason and that's on me."
The Owls quickly moved the ball down the field with ease, picking up first down after first down. With 11:12 in the fourth quarter, Shepherd capped off a 52-yard drive as he made a nice cutback and scampered in for a 14- yard touchdown run to give Elgin a 20-6 lead.