BLOOMDALE — Elmwood beat Eastwood for the first time in 20 years, 56-49, Friday at home.
Elmwood Head Coach Greg Bishop was elated to get the win.
“We hit on plays in the end there to just get the win. In a game like this where you haven’t won in 20 years, at the end of the day all that matters is you come out with a W,” he said.
Royals running back Mason Oliver also had a historic day. He ran for a single-game best 355 yards on 36 carries. He also scored four rushing touchdowns.
Oliver did hurt his ankle during the game, but kept pushing through to get the long awaited win for Elmwood.
“I had to put the team before me and I had to keep going. I couldn’t stop,” Oliver said.
Bishop said Oliver showed he was a great player. He also said the offensive line deserves credit for paving the way to 355 yards rushing.
The game was a shootout from the beginning.
Elmwood scored on their opening drive with a 16-yard rushing touchdown from running back Gunner Endicott.
Once Eastwood got the ball back, quarterback Lake Boos found his brother Case Boos for a 28-yard touchdown.
The Royals committed the first mistake with a fumble on their next drive.
The Boos’ connection struck again. This time, it was a 79-yard touchdown down the sideline for a 13-7 lead.
Teams traded scores until halftime. Once the dust settled, they were tied at 28.
The stats at the half were nearly identical. Elmwood had 338 yards while Eastwood had 339 yards. The Royals did their damage on the ground while the Eagles did their damage through the air.
It looked like the defenses were still on the bus to open the half.
Both teams scored on their opening second-half possession.
On the Eagles second possession, they went three and out. The Elmwood defense started to gain momentum for them.
After that punt, the Royals drove down the field and scored on an 11-yard touchdown run from quarterback Hayden Wickard. At that point, Elmwood was up 41-35 after a missed PAT.
With how the game was going, Bishop decided to steal a possession. On the kickoff, they did an onside kick and recovered it.
With the Eagles offense still on the bench and the defense not doing anything since the first quarter, Oliver rushed for his fourth touchdown of the game from 30 yards out.
After being down 35-28 to open the second half, Elmwood rattled off 28 straight points to lead 56-35 with 8:44 left in the fourth quarter.
The Eagles clawed their way back to make the game interesting. Lake Boos found Case Boos for an 8-yard touchdown to trail 56-42.
Case Boos ended the day with four receiving touchdowns and 207 yards on 12 catches.
Late in the fourth, Eastwood scored on a 42-yard touchdown pass from Lake Boos to wide receiver Isaac Cherry. With about 1:30 left in the game, the Eagles were down seven.
Elmwood closed the game out by recovering the onside kick.
Lake Boos gave it his best effort. He finished the game with 376 yards passing going 21 for 28. He threw for five touchdowns as well.
The stalled third quarter was too much for the Eagles to overcome. Head coach Craig Rutherford said he wished he could take back some of the mistakes he made. Overall, he said he is proud of his team for not giving up.
“Our guys learned some things about us. We never quit, it shows we are resilient. We will use this to get better. Tonight, it hurts us though,” Rutherford said.
Otsego now remains the only remaining undefeated NBC team. Elmwood improves to 5-1 while Eastwood is now 6-1.
This win will be remembered for a long time at Elmwood.
“We never came close to beating Eastwood. Beating them tonight after everything we’ve been through, hard-work and grinding, we didn’t stop. That’s what meant the most tonight,” Oliver said.