End of con­fer­ence win­ning streak re­minds us how dom­i­nant Elks have been

Cecil Whig - - LOCAL SPORTS - By JOR­DAN SCHATZ jschatz@ce­ci­whig.com

ELK­TON — Prior to Fri­day’s 39-14 loss to un­de­feated Havre de Grace, it had been nearly three full sea­sons since the Elk­ton foot­ball team last suf­fered a de­feat against a con­fer­ence op­po­nent.

The streak fea­tured backto-back un­beaten runs through the Susque­hanna Divi­sion, mul­ti­ple vic­to­ries against Ch­e­sa­peake Divi­sion teams and, more im­por­tantly, con­sec­u­tive trips to the 2A post­sea­son, in­clud­ing an ap­pear­ance in last year’s state cham­pi­onship game.

Un­der the di­rec­tion of head coach Matt Feeney, the Golden Elks had strung to­gether 24 wins in a row against the con­fer­ence dat­ing back to Oct. 24, 2014— the UCBAC’S long­est win streak against con­fer­ence op­po­nents since Per­ryville had its own 24-game win­ning streak snapped against C.M. Wright on Oct. 11, 2013.

Sim­i­lar to the Pan­thers that sea­son, the Elks (5-1) re­main fully in con­trol of their play­off des­tiny de­spite their set­back against Havre de Grace. In the locker room Fri­day, fol­low­ing his team’s first reg­u­lar-sea­son loss since last Septem­ber’s 27-0 de­feat to East Re­gion ri­val Kent Is­land, Feeney quickly put the streak be­hind him.

“It was a great run for what it is, but we’re not con­cerned with that,” Feeney said about the streak. “We want to get to the play­offs, we want to win our re­gion. That’s our goal. Any­thing that gets in the way of that we’ll try to over­come. We just have one fo­cus right now and that’s just to bounce back this week.”

The Elks suf­fered Week 2 losses to Kent Is­land each of the past two reg­u­lar sea­sons and re­sponded by win­ning their next eight games to punch their ticket to the play­offs and gen­er­ate deep post­sea­son runs. Feeney ex­pects a sim­i­lar re­ac­tion to Fri­day’s loss as the team pre­pares to play its fi­nal four games, start­ing this week­end against an­other re­gion team in North Har­ford.

“If this team has any kind of iden­tity, it’s a team that bounces back when they have to bounce back,” Feeney said. “That’s been our M.O. for the last two years. I have no doubts that they’ll bounce back, even with the ad­ver­sity we’re fac­ing. I have full faith that we’ll be al­right.”

Se­nior Myles Sewell con­trib­uted on a de­fen­sive line last sea­son that helped guide the Elks to the state ti­tle game. On Fri­day, he trooped into the locker room with a sim­i­lar mes­sage as his head coach.

“We just have to come back Mon­day and work harder, just tighten up some things,” Sewell said. “We just have to play harder.”

Fol­low Jor­dan Schatz on Twit­ter: @Jor­dan_Whig

CECIL WHIG PHOTO BY SCOTT SERIO

Elk­ton se­nior Raiquon Estep blocks a kick from fel­low con­sen­sus All-State player Clay Har­ris dur­ing a 39-14 loss to Havre de Grace on Fri­day. The de­feat snapped the Golden Elks’ 24-game win­ning streak against UCBAC op­po­nents.

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