By CHRIS BOOTHE
In an attempt to keep their playoff hopes alive, the Elkhart Elks left it all on the field against the Trinity Tigers. However, in the end it was an Elk miscue that led to the final score, as Trinity held on for a 16-8 win over the Elks.
Facing fourth-and-one from their own 34-yard line, an errant snap flew over the head of quarterback Kevin Kidd. Kidd pounced on the ball for a 10-yard loss, and turned the ball over on downs. From there the Tigers marched 24 yards in two plays, with Terrance Potts going 12-yards up the middle for the final score of the night.
Elkhart got one final chance at a comeback, as they were able to drive down to the Tigers 11-yard line with a minute left in regulation. The Elks left empty handed, as a fourth down pass fell just out of reach of running back Jeffery Wilson.
The defense took center stage on the night, and it was in the second quarter when the most pivotal play of the night occurred.
Facing a fourth-and-one from their own one yard line, the Elkhart Elks defense locked the Tigers out of the end zone, giving themselves the ball deep in their own territory. On the very next play, it was the Tigers defense coming up with the big play, as an Elkhart running back was dropped in the end zone for a safety, giving the Tigers a 2-0 lead.
After forcing a punt, the Elks came out driving the ball on their next possession. A 13-yard rush by Jeffery Wilson and a 20-yard run by Jordan Ives put the Elks in scoring position, with Ives completing the drive with a 13-yard touchdown pass to Luke Hollingsworth to give Elkhart a 8-2 lead after a successful two-point conversion.
The Tigers responded on their ensuing drive, going 72 yards in five plays with Michael Lewis and connecting with Kemon House for a six-yard touchdown with two seconds remaining in the half. That gave the Tigers a 9-8 advantage.
The Elks were held to a season low 148 yards of total offense on the night, including just 96 yards rushing. After running for at least 295 yards in each of the Elks previous four district games, Wilson was held to just 67 yards on 27 carries.
Ives completed four of seven passes for 39 yards and a touchdown, while rushing for 20 yards on seven carries.
Defensively, the Elks were gashed for 314 yards on the ground with House carrying the ball for a game-high 109 yards on six carries.
The win places the Tigers into the playoffs for the first time since 2001.