Elks stay unbeaten with win over Panthers
Two years ago, the Elkton and Rising Sun football teams combined to finish the 2014 season with just four total wins, including zero victories against the other three schools in Cecil County.
But after both programs experienced breakout campaigns last fall, the Golden Elks and Tigers are no longer able to play the underdog card. Last season, Elkton rattled off eight-straight regular-season victories, went undefeated in the Susquehanna Division and earned a postseason berth, while Rising Sun emerged to win six games and place second in the lower division after going winless the year before.
“We’re not sneaking up on anybody,” Tigers coach Rich Opp said. “Our goals are a reflection [of how far we’ve come]. We don’t want to stay 6-4, we want to see an improvement in our record and make the playoffs. Two years ago it was: Let’s see if we can win a game or two or three games.”
Both teams face off tonight in a matchup between the two best Cecil County teams from a year ago.
“Anytime it’s a county game the emotions are going to run high. The last few years, every game against Rising Sun has been one to keep your eye on,” Elkton coach Matt Feeney said. “It’s going to be hard-hitting, it’s going to be playing through the whistle and these kids are going to go hard at each other.
“There’s not a person in the building at Elkton High School that’s thinking we’re going to walk over Rising Sun. It’s almost going to feel like a playoff game just because they have improved so much.”
The third-ranked Elks (3-1 overall, 1-0 Susque- Special to the Whig
— After being held scoreless for the first 20 minutes of its Susquehanna Division boys’ soccer battle with host Per r y v i l l e , Elkton took advantage of a strong scoring chance when Jonathan Erreguin put a Philip hanna) enter having won three of four to begin the season, while the Tigers (1-3, 1-0) secured their first win of the year a week ago when they triumphed over Bohemia Manor.
Both teams won in different fashions last Friday. Elkton defeated Joppatowne 35-14 after holding a 28-0 halftime lead, while Rising Sun erased a onescore deficit at the break and shut out the Eagles over the final two quarters to win 33-21.
“We know what it feels like to win and we know what it takes to win now and what it takes to finish,” Opp said. “I think that was indicative last Friday when we were 0-3, losing 21-14 at halftime and we came out and scored 19 [unanswered points] instead of going belly up. Two or three years ago we would have said ‘Here we go again,’ and gone belly up and not been able to finish.”
Meanwhile, the Golden Elks will be looking to Glockner cross into the net for the go-ahead goal.
The Golden Elks’ were energized by Erreguin’s tally and played at a quicker pace the rest of the way, scoring three more times to roll to a 4-0 victory over the Panthers Wednesday afternoon and remain undefeated on the season.
“It certainly gives the boys confidence to play with the lead. I think we ran with it. We’ve been practicing the speed of play all week, playing 2-3 touch,” Elkton head coach Josh Marley said. “I think once we scored that first goal, we went to sustain momentum from beginning to end.
“I’m just ready to see a complete game. We pretty much played half a game against Joppatowne, just to be honest. We dominated the first half and took our foot off the gas. Coaches can push, push, push but players have to learn how to respond and finish games,” Feeney said. “We didn’t do that last week and I’m definitely looking for a complete game, four quarters of football.”
Follow the 2016 UCBAC football season on Twitter: @UCBACFootball push the pace. The boys did a really good job responding to that.”
The opening goal was scored after the Golden Elks (6-0 overall, 2-0 division) won a 50-50 ball in Perryville’s half of the field. Glockner followed by crossing it to his right, before Erreguin pushed a shot past the goalkeeper in the 26th minute.
Elkton followed that up with another goal 11 minutes later to double its advantage. Jake Bosler started the run towards the goal with a pass to Serebe Kajubi in the midfield, who then touched the ball a couple times before rocket- ing a shot into the net.
“We just got our momentum up and we started to play our game,” Kajubi said. “It was easier to score and get the ball to the feet.
Carrying over the confidence from the two late goals in the second half, the Golden Elks continued to control the action and create opportunities. Bosler added to the lead in the 64th minute when his shot found the net to make it 3-0.
Justin Gutierrez then capped the scoring for Elkton in the 79th minute when he scored on a header following a cross from Easton Shelley that secured the victory. With the win, the Golden Elks remain unbeaten for the season, but they know that they cannot look too far ahead.
“We’ve had a pretty successful start to the season so far, but it’s one step, one game at a time,” Marley said. “Monday is our next game, and we’re going to take that challenge and see where that takes us. Right now, it’s one game at a time.”
Trevor Prevost had 12 saves for the Panthers (2-5, 1-1).
Jacob Buskell had five saves for Elkton.
Third-ranked Elkton will host Rising Sun tonight in Susquehanna Division football action.