Elmwood’s Mason Oliver runs the ball into the end zone past Delta’s defense for a touchdown Friday night.

J.D. Pooley | Sentinel-Tribune

BLOOMDALE — Elmwood senior quarterback Hayden Wickard completed 19-of-26 passes for 319 yards as the Royals defeated visiting Delta, 49-24, in a Division V first round regional playoff game Friday.

Elmwood improves to 10-1 while Delta sees its season end at 5-6. Elmwood coach Greg Bishop said that his team did not play its best game, but he’ll take the win.

“(It was) a little sloppy — there were definitely some things we have to fix,” Bishop said. “Way too many penalties.

“Overall, we had some adversity, we challenged the kids, and we came away with a win. We’re onto round two, we advance, and we took care of business.”

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Wickard also threw three touchdown passes, but the game was tied 14-14 midway through the second quarter before the Royals scored four straight touchdowns unanswered.

Elmwood back Alex Arnold scored first on a four-yard run and Wickard threw a 20-yard TD pass to senior receiver Mason Mossbarger, but Delta scored on a 32-yard run by senior Jerremiah Wolford and a four-yard run by senior Bryar Knapp.

Elmwood senior running back Mason Oliver then scored on a two-yard run, Mossbarger caught a seven-yard TD pass from Wickard, Oliver caught an eight-yard TD pass from Wickard, and Oliver scored on a 19-yard run, putting Elmwood up 35-14 with 8:12 remaining in the third quarter.

Arnold scored on a 27-yard run in the fourth quarter to finalize Elmwood’s scoring.

Wickard liked the way his team finally get into a rhythm and closed the game out.

“It was good. We came out hard, and in the second quarter we really stepped it up and made sure we got a lead, and we finished the game,” Wickard said.

“As a team, we settled down a bit. We just have to come back next week and make sure we keep going.”

Delta added a 43-yard field goal by senior Phil Smithers and Wolford scored on a six-yard run in the second half.

The only turnover of the game was an interception by Knapp of a Wickard pass midway through the third quarter.

Mason Oliver ran for 87 yards on 12 carries, and he caught three passes for 55 yards. Wickard’s favorite receiver was Mossbarger, who had six catches for 78 yards.

Elmwood receiver Alex Arnold had four catches for 115, including one for 68 yards. Cannon Endicott caught three passes for 45 yards, Brennan Hiser had one catch for 19 yards, Landon Murray had a catch for 14 yards, and Lex Voska had two catches for 14 yards.

Arnold ran for 35 yards on four carries, Andrew Traxler ran for 29 yards on seven carries, and Wickard ran for 12 yards on six carries.

Elmwood quarterback Mitchel Oliver also completed both passes he threw for 21 yards.

The Elmwood defense was led by Mossbarger with six tackles and one assist, Arnold had seven tackles, Adam Meyer had five tackles and two assists, and Luke Barringer had seven tackles and one assist.

Elmwood will host Tinora (8-3) next Friday at 7 p.m. in a regional quarterfinal. The Rams defeated Marengo Highland (7-4), 37-7, on Friday.

(Sentinel-Tribune multimedia journalist J.D. Pooley did the interviews for this story)